Volkswagen Debuts 320 PS Tiguan R Performance SUV

An R version of the Tiguan makes its debut for the first time ever. 

Volkswagen has recently revealed its sportiest Tiguan flavour available to date with the launch of this new Tiguan R. Typically reserved for the hottest of Golfs, the R badge now makes its appearance on VW’s mid-sized SUV for the first time ever. 

Being bequeathed with the R badge naturally means that this particular Tiguan variant packs a punch. Under the hood of this sporty SUV is a highly tuned variant of the German automakers latest EA888 evo4 2.0 litre turbocharged TSI four-cylinder, outputting a very healthy 320 PS and 420 Nm of torque. Netting a 0-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds, and a top speed of 250 km/h. 

The very same power plant that will feature in the upcoming 8th iteration Golf R, all this power is sent to all four wheels through the same 7-speed DSG dual clutch transmission to all four wheels via the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. Other performance add-ons elsewhere under the skin of the Tiguan R includes larger 18-inch brakes with blue brake callipers, a 10 mm drop in ride height with adjustable DCC dampers, and an additional R profile on the drive mode selector for sportier driving dynamics. 

Basically think of this as a Golf R in a bigger SUV body and you’re not far off. 

Speaking of the body of this sporty SUV, the usual sporty R touches are featured on this flagship Tiguan. Bespoke R design bumpers are featured on both ends, bringing with it aerodynamic elements that give this mid-sized SUV a more aggressive look than it already currently wears. Down the side meanwhile, the Tiguan R could be distinguished by its matte chrome exterior mirror covers, as well as its more pronounced black wheel arch extensions that go over the standard 20-inch Misano alloy wheels. 

Out the back, an exposed gloss black diffuser on this sporty Tiguan houses within it quad tailpipes, which can incidentally be upgraded to a titanium system Akrapovič. Other upgrades include larger 21-inch Estoril alloys and a Black Style design package for those who prefer more black accents on the exterior. 

Stepping inside, the Tiguan R features bespoke premium sport seats with integrated head restraints and R logo. Stainless steel pedals, a sporty R multifunction steering wheel, aluminium front sill panel mouldings with the illuminated R logo and other R-specific carbon grey decorative trim are also seen accenting the regular Tiguan interior. Just if that isn’t sporty enough though, the Digital Cockpit now features an integrated lap timer for the occasion when one takes this SUV to the track. 

Priced at €56,703.53 (RM 275,000) in Germany, order books for the R flavour of Europe’s most popular SUV is currently open over there. No word thus far however on when it will arrive in Malaysia. 

Then again, seeing as the current Tiguan is a CKD model, it might not be long till this hot SUV arrives here. A blessing then to any parents who had to give up their hot hatches when offsprings start arriving. 

PRESS RELEASE: Volkswagen is launching the most powerful Tiguan to date: the Tiguan R. With a power output of 235 kW (320 PS), the SUV accelerates to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. Featuring a newly developed all-wheel drive system, the Volkswagen with a top speed of 250 km/h fascinates with outstandingly agile and confident handling. The new Volkswagen Tiguan R combines the dynamic performance of a sports car with the variability of a Sport Utility Vehicle. It is now available to order. Price in Germany: 56,703.53 euros.

The latest generation of the EA888 evo4 – an icon among sporty turbocharged engines (TSI) – is responsible for delivering the SUV’s vehement power. The four-cylinder engine already provides its maximum torque of 420 Nm as low as 2,100 rpm; the TSI maintains this high torque at a constant level up to 5,350 rpm. This power is distributed to four wheels by the new all-wheel drive system: 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. Volkswagen has implemented a rear final drive with two multiplate clutches for the first time. This system does not just distribute the drive power between the front and rear axles, but also distributes it variably between the left and right rear wheels. With the new all-wheel drive system, Volkswagen has noticeably improved handling agility when cornering in particular. With this system the Tiguan R sets a new benchmark for SUV driving dynamics.

The Tiguan flagship was developed by Volkswagen R. The sporty DNA is not just to be found in the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive system of the Tiguan R, but also in its extensively customised equipment. Taking the exterior as an example: the standard equipment here includes bumpers in R design with aerodynamic elements in high-gloss black or the car body colour, exterior mirror covers in matt chrome, a unique and also high-gloss black rear diffuser, black wheel housing extensions and 20-inch Misano alloy wheels. And in the interior: the Tiguan R sets itself apart from the other models in the product line with features such as the premium sport seats with integrated head restraints and R logo developed exclusively for this model, a customised Digital Cockpit with integrated lap timer, as well as R-specific decorative trim (Carbon Grey). The decorative trim elements are illuminated via the background lighting. Also illuminated: the R logo in the aluminium front sill panel mouldings. The pedals are made of stainless steel.

The extended technical R equipment includes a powerful 18-inch brake system including blue brake calipers (with R logo at the front), a DCC chassis (with adaptively controlled shock absorbers) lowered by 10 mm, and a driving profile selection enhanced for the Tiguan R with an additional R profile. This particularly sporty mode can be activated directly by means of a blue R button on the new multifunction sports steering wheel. This is also equipped with separate large paddles for manual control of the 7-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox (DQ500). The standard equipment also includes deactivatable ESC as well as a four-branch sports exhaust system. Optionally available: a titanium exhaust system from Akrapovič and 21-inch Estoril alloy wheels. The exterior of the Tiguan R can also be personalised with the Black Style design package; in this case, selected add-on parts are finished in black.

The Tiguan is Europe’s most successful SUV

A Tiguan left the production line every 35 seconds last year – a new record for the product line. The story of this bestselling model began in 2007 with its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. Later that year, the first Tiguan came onto the market. In 2011, Volkswagen unveiled a major update at the Geneva Motor Show. By then, 700,000 units of the Tiguan had already been produced. With the new version, the annual volumes passed the mark of 500,000 units for the first time. The IAA in Frankfurt in September 2015 provided the stage for the world premiere of the second Tiguan generation; the sales launch followed in April 2016. The importance of the product line increased further in 2017 with the debut of an XL version with lengthened wheelbase under the name Allspace. In 2019, one in seven of the 6.18 million Volkswagen cars manufactured was a Tiguan – 910,926 vehicles, to be precise. The annual volumes have therefore increased almost eightfold since the first full year of production.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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