Based on the new Volkswagen Tiguan that debuted at the Frankfurt auto show, the Tiguan GTE Active concept shows how plug-in hybrid technology could be integrated into an off-road-ready crossover.
The GTE Active concept’s powertrain starts with a 148-hp turbocharged inline-four engine mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. A 54-hp electric motor integrated into the transmission helps power the front wheels, while a 114-hp motor drives the rear wheels.
A 12.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack allows for up to 20 miles of all-electric driving at speeds up to 70 mph. By default, the car starts off every trip in EV mode with only the rear wheels powering it. If the battery is depleted, the gasoline engine can serve as a range extender, generating electricity with the front motor to power the rear motor. If the driver selects GTE mode, however, the engine and motors work together for a total of 221 hp, giving the crossover a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph.
Yes, it can go off road
To keep up with the “Active” part of its name, the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active concept has 1.8 inches of extra ground clearance than stock, with new front and rear fascias to improve approach and departure angles over rough terrain. There’s also a matte-aluminum skid plate up front, roof rails for loading skis or other outdoorsy gear, and two LED spotlights. The rear of the crossover features a matching matte-aluminum skid plate, as well as two functional recovery hooks.
Inside, key details include two-tone Nappa leather, dark brushed-aluminum trim pieces, a head-up display, and Volkswagen’s new 9.2-inch, gesture-controlled touchscreen infotainment system. The center console features a prominent 4Motion switch that lets drivers pick between the car’s various driving modes, which include On Road, Snow, Sport, and Battery Hold.
The GTE Active comes a year after Volkswagen showed another plug-in hybrid crossover concept at the Detroit show. Last year’s Cross Coupe GTE married a 3.6-liter V-6 gas engine with two electric motors, for a total of 355 hp.
Though the GTE Active concept is a cool vision of how Volkswagen could upgrade the Tiguan, we’re still waiting to see a U.S.-spec version of the new crossover. A longer-wheelbase, three-row Volkswagen Tiguan is set to arrive here by 2017, and will be built at Volkswagen’s plant in Mexico. Until then, take a closer look at the GTE Active concept in the gallery below.