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Volkswagen introduces new MQB-based Tiguan at Frankfurt; plug-in hybrid concept

Volkswagen introduced the second-generation Tiguan SUV at the IAA in Frankfurt. The second generation Tiguan is the first Volkswagen Group SUV whose design is based on the MQB platform. Volkswagen has sold some 2.6 million units of the first generation version since its introduction in 2007.

Volkswagen presented four versions of the new Tiguan simultaneously. The three production versions are the sporty Tiguan R-Line; the basic on-road model; and a version customized for off-road use. The Tiguan GTE—a concept vehicle with a plug-in hybrid drive (160 kW / 218 PS of system power) (earlier post)—offers an outlook on future development of the best-selling SUV.

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According to Volkswagen forecasts, the A-SUV segment will increase its global sales from slightly over eight million units today to almost nine million units by 2018 (+9%). The new Tiguan is tailored for the requirements in this market segment. In 2014, more than 500,000 Tiguan cars were produced—9% more than in the prior year.

Volkswagen said that the new Tiguan marks the beginning of an SUV product offensive. In upcoming years, the brand will be launching other SUVs that are tailored to specific markets in a wide variety of segments worldwide. Volkswagen will be extending the range of SUV vehicles it offers, especially in the US. Forecasts indicate that the SUV share will also increase significantly in China. Additional SUV growth will also occur in Europe. Unlike in Europe, car drivers in the US and China prefer versions with a longer wheelbase. That is why the new Tiguan was systematically developed for two different wheelbases from the start. The “long” Tiguan will be introduced to specific markets in spring 2017.

MQB. Use of the modular transverse matrix toolkit (MQB) improved all aspects of the Tiguan. The body proportions of the latest Volkswagen SUV are notably sporty, and the vehicle’s weight was reduced by more than 50 kilograms compared to the previous model with Euro-5 engines, despite being larger.

At 4,486 mm in length, the new model is 60 mm longer, and its wheelbase has been lengthened by 77 mm to 2,681 mm. The new vehicle is 1,839 mm wide, which is 30 mm more than before. Meanwhile, its height was reduced by 33 mm to 1,632 mm (base model with front-wheel drive). The Cd figure of the new Tiguan was reduced as well, thanks to numerous aerodynamic improvements. One example of the innovative aerodynamics is the newly designed door mirrors. By means of wind tunnel testing and airflow simulations the shape of the mirror housings could be improved to such an extent that their share of overall air drag was reduced by 40%. This, and other measures, enabled a 0.048 improvement in the vehicle’s Cd figure to 0.31.

Four gasoline and four diesel engines. The many different equipment configurations may be combined with a total of eight Euro-6 engines. In this class, Volkswagen provides a turbocharger, direct injection, stop-start system and battery regeneration as standard. The four gasoline engines (TSI) produce 92 kW / 125 PS; 110 kW / 150 PS; 132 kW / 180 PS; and 162 kW / 220 PS of power. The four diesel engines (TDI) produce 85 kW / 115 PS; 110 kW / 150 PS; 140 kW / 190 PS; and 176 kW / 240 PS of power. The base engines of the new Tiguan are launching with front-wheel drive. All of the other Tiguan versions offer all-wheel drive either as an option or as standard.

Compared to the previous model with Euro-5 engines, the four-cylinders engines in the new Tiguan are up to 24% more fuel-efficient. Compared to the retired model with Euro-6 engines, progress has been made that results in fuel savings of up to 10%.

This year, Volkswagen had already switched over the engines of the previous model to new Euro-6 engines. But in the new model the gasoline and diesel engines are taking a substantial leap upward. While the highest powered TSI engine had an output of 150 PS previously, the range has been extended with two 2.0-liter engines with 180 and 220 PS. The leap among the diesel engines is also large. Previously, the strongest TDI had an output of 184 PS. The power of this engine variant is now the noted 190 PS. The top engine being employed is the newly engineered 240-PS engine (2.0 TDI) with biturbo charging and 2,500 bar of injection pressure. With 88 kW / 120 PS per liter displacement, the 2.0 TDI has one of the highest specific powers in the A-SUV segment.

All-wheel drive: 4MOTION. Volkswagen offers the highly efficient 4MOTION all-wheel drive system in the new Tiguan, either as an option or as standard, depending on the engine selected. The ground clearance of all Tiguan 4MOTION versions is 11 mm higher (200 instead of 189 mm). In addition, the Tiguan can be ordered with a special off-road front end; in that case its approach angle is 25.6 instead of 18.3 degrees. The departure angle at the rear is 24.7 degrees for all versions, as is the ramp angle. New and specially developed for the new SUV is 4MOTION Active Control—an off-road switch with four different modes. Regardless of whether the vehicle has an on-road or off-road front end design, the new Tiguan is engineered for enormous trailer loads of up to 2,500 kilograms.

4MOTION all-wheel drive operates with a fifth-generation Haldex coupling. It actively distributes torque to all four wheels before slip occurs. In normal driving, only the front wheels are driven, saving fuel. But as soon as there is a risk of losing traction, the rear axle is variably engaged within fractions of a second. Along with the Haldex coupling that acts as a longitudinal lock, the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the electronic stability control (ESC) system act as transverse locks for all four wheels.

The intuitively operated rotary/pushbutton switch of the new 4MOTION Active Control is located on the centre console. The driver uses it to activate four higher-level modes and various popup menus. When the driver turns the switch to the left, one of the two road profiles Onroad or Snow can be activated. When the switch is turned to the right, the driver selects one of the two off-road profiles Offroad (automatic setting of off-road parameters) or Offroad Individual (variable settings). When driving off-road, 4MOTION Active Control lets drivers switch the assistance systems in just seconds with a single manual operation to adapt them to the propulsion situation – a safety gain. The same applies to a mode such as “Snow”, which also optimises safety during winter weather conditions such as in a skiing region.

Tiguan GTE. This Volkswagen, which is being presented as a concept vehicle, develops a system power of 160 kW / 218 PS and can cover a distance of up to 50 km (31 miles) in “E-Mode” driving as an all-electric zero-emission vehicle, powered by its 13 kWh Li-ion battery pack. Its average fuel consumption (combined) is a mere 1.9 l/100 km (124 mpg US); this equates to CO2 emissions figure of 42 g/km.

The concept car is driven via its front axle by a direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine (1.4 TSI with 115 kW) and an electric motor. The lithium-ion high-voltage battery supplies the electric motor with energy. The Tiguan GTE operates with a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) that was specially developed for hybrid use. The electric motor was integrated into the gearbox housing. Additional components of the hybrid drive include the power electronics (converts DC power from the battery to AC power for the electric motor) and a charger.

The Tiguan GTE can be driven in E-Mode or in one of the three other modes: Hybrid, Battery Charge, or GTE. After starting the drive system, the concept vehicle automatically drives off in E-Mode.

Exclusively driven by electric motor, the Tiguan reaches a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph). When a minimum charge level of the battery has been reached or when there is very high demand for power, the drive system automatically switches over to the Hybrid mode. This means that E-Mode is deactivated, and the Tiguan GTE now behaves like a classic full hybrid vehicle that automatically uses the TSI and/or electric motor according to the driving situation. By pressing the E-Mode button, the driver can manually switch to zero-emissions operation if necessary.

The driver presses the GTE button to switch to GTE mode, which activates a very agile side of the concept car. This GTE mode is an exclusive feature of all Volkswagen vehicles with a plug-in hybrid drive system—currently the Golf and the Passat. The characteristics of the accelerator pedal, gearbox and steering are made noticeably more dynamic, and the tuning of the TSI is more performance-oriented.

In addition, in the GTE mode the TSI and electric motor work together (boosting) to make the full system power and the maximum system torque available. The Tiguan GTE then has a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) and accelerates to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds.

Comments

HarveyD

An impressive vehicle, specially the PHEV models.

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