Volkswagen Tiguan hybrid set for 2021 launch

Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid push will continue through 2020, with a Tiguan GTE due early next year

New Volkswagen Tiguan sketch

Volkswagen has revealed more information about its forthcoming Tiguan hybrid SUV, which is due to be revealed shortly after the standard petrol and diesel models go on sale in the summer. 

The electrified family car will bolster the brand’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) offering to four distinct models. Two more – the newly announced Volkswagen Arteon GTE and yet-to-be-revealed Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake – will also debut in 2020.

During a digital press conference, Volkswagen’s head of product marketing Dr. Hendrik Muth, revealed that the new Tiguan plug-in hybrid would “bring the latest technology” to the SUV range, while offering the ability to be “fully electric for more than 50 kilometres (31 miles).

“You can also drive it with the [petrol] powertrain,” Dr. Muth said, offering “high efficiency over long distances”.

While it’s unclear whether the Tiguan will use the high-performance GTE badge, a hotter version of the SUV is all but guaranteed. Dr. Muth commented: “We will announce more on that later. We’ll wait a little bit. It will be very soon in the life cycle – but be prepared to be excited.”

A Tiguan GTE would fit with the rest of VW plug-in range, joining the Volkswagen Passat GTE and Volkswagen Golf GTE models in the ever-expanding line-up. 

Such a car would sit below the range-topping Volkswagen Touareg R, using the same hardware as the new Golf and its SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia sister models: a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine paired with a powerful electric motor to produce as much as 242bhp.

This kind of setup would put the plug-in hybrid Tiguan GTE on par with the current Tiguan range-topper when it comes to performance. The 227bhp Tiguan 2.0-litre TSI does 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds – a suitable benchmark for a forthcoming hot hybrid SUV.

The facelifted version of the Tiguan was recently spotted testing on roads in Europe almost completely undisguised. These pictures show that the Tiguan’s styling has evolved to incorporate new bumpers, slimmer headlights, reworked tail-lights and a revised grille, but with an overall look that’s broadly familiar.

Dr. Muth said the new Tiguan would be “more dynamic, more masculine”. He also confirmed the facelifted car would feature “100% LED” lights front and rear – including the option of a Matrix LED setup, which can dip individual bulbs to maintain the view ahead without dazzling oncoming drivers.

A plug-in hybrid version of the Tiguan (badged Tiguan L430 PHEV) already exists in China – albeit in long-wheelbase Allspace form. However, Dr. Kai Philipp, VW's project manager for electrified drivetrains confirmed: "The plug-in hybrid in Europe will be based on the regular Tiguan."

But the Tiguan’s overall size should mean only minor compromises need to be made when it comes to space and practicality, so the 615-litre boot should be largely unaffected.

The company will be hoping this electrified car push will continue as it gears up to launch the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback this summer. A fully electric SUV called the ID.4 will arrive in 2021.