Forget everything you think you know about the Volkswagen Tiguan. While normally it’s a wanna-be SUV that only sees dirt when there’s construction on the way to Whole Foods, VW has done something crazy and awesome by creating the hardcore GTE Active Concept.
Gone is the softer side of the Tiguan. Instead of shrinking at the mere mention of a trail, this SUV looks like it can take on a mildly-rutted pathway with some mud.
One of the best parts of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is the hybrid powertrain, which actually isn’t a horrible idea since it could provide better range out in the middle of nowhere. A 2.0-liter gasoline-powered (VW learned a thing or two by not using a TDI) and turbocharged four-cylinder engine works with the electric motors to whip out a modest 221 horsepower. Electric-only range is estimated at 20 miles and 0 to 60 acceleration takes 6.4 seconds, which is actually pretty quick for this sort of a vehicle.
Jeep Wrangler owners will scoff at the all-wheel-drive system. There are two electric motors, one to drive each of the axles. The default setting is rear-wheel drive, but drivers can change that to front- or all-wheel drive. There are terrain settings for different things like snow, rocks, sand, etc. which is a completely revolutionary concept not found in just about every modern SUV.
There are some cool aspects to the VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept, like the stylish front skid plate and the slim-profile roof lights, and while maybe a dozen or so people have gotten their hopes up, the thing probably won’t ever become a production vehicle. After all, how many interesting concepts has Volkswagen churned out, only to turn around and make a crappier version of the Jetta for the United States? Oh, and there’s the whole Dieselgate scandal that means pretty much nothing new, fun or risky will be coming out of the Volkswagen Group for a while.