Report: Volkswagen Ponders a Mid-Size SUV Between Touareg and Tiguan

Is there room for an SUV to slot between the small Volkswagen Tiguan and large Touareg model lines? Volkswagen officials apparently think so, judging by recent comments made to an automotive media group.

Automotive News reports that Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning told the Automotive Press Association yesterday that a mid-size SUV between the Tiguan and Touareg represents a "great opportunity," which would help Volkswagen present a better "core portfolio" to its customers. As for details about the model, AN says Browning was tight-lipped and wouldn't confirm if such a model is in development.

With this information in mind, we think a couple of things could be afoot at the German carmaker. One one hand, there is some room between the Touareg and Tiguan utilities in size. The Tiguan has a 102.5-inch wheelbase, stretches 174.5 inches, and weighs 3591 pounds with a six-speed automatic transmission, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and 4Motion all-wheel drive. In comparison, the Touareg has a 113.9-inch wheelbase, stretches 188.8 inches, and weighs 4711 pounds with a 3.6-liter VR6 engine, all-wheel drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Split the difference and you have a theoretical car that's 182 inches long, about the size of the Volvo XC60.

If that setup doesn't allow for much model differentiation, there's always the option of stretching the Touareg even bigger. At current the Touareg and Q7 share the same basic underpinnings, but the Q7 rides a stretched platform which means it has a 118-inch wheelbase and is a whopping 200.3 inches long. The next generation models will probably ride the same platform, which could mean we'll see a bigger Touareg and a new mid-size model that sits comfortably in the middle of the (newly wider) size difference. If history is any guide, the new mid-size SUV could occupy the same niche proposed by VW’s 2002 Magellan Concept, which boasted six seats and a stretched, lifted wagon-like appearance.

VW also has its trump card: the Passat Alltrack. The 188-inch off-road wagon would be an unlikely choice to span the gap between the Tiguan and Touareg, but it's still a possibility. At current VW hasn't announced any plans to bring the model to the states.

If the mid-size SUV or Passat Alltrack does prevail, don't rule out an American assembly line to make it. VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant can make up to 170,000 Passats a year (after VW recently added 1000 workers to the roster), but additional investment could boost total capacity to 250,000 units.

What do you think about a new model--should VW go mid-size SUV, jack up the Passat, or forget about the whole thing? Let us know.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

John
There's another option - An SUV based on the 6 speed, TDI equipped Amarok. Something more utilitarian, but with advanced off road tech. Basically something similar to the 2000s Xterra.
Stillwaiting
Agree totally. The Tiguan has multiple Diesel options in Europe, and if the Passat Alltrack is being introduced, bring them both over also. Exchange rates may make profit thinner, but spreads the development cost over rmore sales. I would put a deopsit on a TDI Tiguan with 6 speed (bonus points if AWD added) tomorrow if they would only offer it. I may be becoming an oddity, but I WILL NOT buy a vehicle I don't want. Why is it so hard to get a dealer to order a car for us today. Most of the cars on the lot today are overstuffed with electronics which age out in about 2 years.
gaschdog
They'd be better off building the Passat Alltrack with several engine options (incl. TDI) and slapping a TDI in the Tiguan than trying to shoehorn another SUV into the lineup. Heck why not even build the VW pickups being sold in many countries (with TDI option of course).

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