2023 VW Tiguan to get ‘R’ performance plug-in hybrid [Update]

Update: ‘VW Tiguan Electric’ sub-section updated.

The second-gen VW Tiguan received its customary mid-life facelift in 2020. In 2023, the next-gen VW Tiguan will replace the current generation that debuted in late 2015. Unlike the current model, the 2023 VW Tiguan have not one but two plug-in hybrid variants, as reported by the German press. Plus, rumor has it there will be a pure electric variant as well.

The VW Tiguan is the best-selling model worldwide. With the brand moving up the electrification ladder, a considerable responsibility in making the new Accelerate strategy successful falls on its shoulder. In the U.S., VW has let their beloved Golf and Passat models die. This means there are higher expectations from the Tiguan, and it will be more important than ever that Volkswagen balances its lineup right away.

Design

Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess had shared an update on Linkedin of the company adapting to the Coronavirus lockdown. He said the company approved a vehicle design direction via web meetings for the first time. Along with the post, Diess showed a blurred video screen on the wall behind him that had an unidentified red crossover SUV with a soft styling (set as the featured picture of this story). Back then, speculations were that Dr. Diess had just approved the design of the next-gen VW Tiguan.

According to a report from Auto Zeitung, the next-gen VW Tiguan’s interior should be more digital and focus on online networking. The Tiguan became an always-online model by adopting MIB3 infotainment systems with the mid-cycle refresh in the second generation last year. In the third generation, the compact SUV could feature touch sliders introduced in the Golf in its eighth generation. The air conditioning system, infotainment system, and panoramic sunroof could be controllable using touch sliders.

Rechargeable Powertrains

Plug-in Hybrid

According to auto motor und sport, the next-gen 2023 VW Tiguan will come in a regular plug-in hybrid variant and an R plug-in hybrid variant. The 2023 VW Tiguan R will be a plug-in hybrid high-performance SUV. It won’t be the first PHEV Volkswagen R model, though – the VW Touareg R PHEV claimed that title in 2020. The VW Touareg R combines a 250 kW 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with a 100 kW electric motor powered by a 17.9 kWh (gross) Lithium-ion battery pack.

The VW Tiguan R PHEV will likely use a cheaper and more efficient, 2.0-liter single-turbo inline four-cylinder gasoline engine instead of the V6 mill. Regular variants could employ a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor.

VW Tiguan plug-in hybrid which will be replaced by the 2023 VW Tiguan with 100 km EV range
The 2023 VW Tiguan eHybrid will get a pure electric range 100 km (62 miles), double that of today’s car (pictured).

The next-gen VW Tiguan eHybrid and next-gen VW Tiguan R PHEVs should have a pure electric range of around 100 km or 62 miles as per Europe’s WLTP, which is double that of today.

We will still need combustion engines for a while, but they should be as efficient as possible, which is why the next generation of our core products – all of which are world models – will also be fitted with the latest generation of plug-in hybrid technology, with an electric range of up to 100 kilometers.

Ralf Brandstätter, CEO, Volkswagen, during the announcement of the Accelerate strategy in March 2021

In November 2021, in an interview with Auto Bild, Brandstätter reaffirmed a pure electric range of 100 km (62 miles) for the next-gen Tiguan plug-in hybrid. Talking about the future models to be produced at the Volkswagen Wolfsburg plant, he said that the company was examining all options since March 2021 – Tiguan, Tayron, Golf – all with the new-generation plug-in hybrid system that offers a pure electric range of 100 km (62 miles).

VW Tiguan Electric

Based on new spy shots of the next-gen VW Tiguan, Motor Authority said in a report on June 14, 2022, that a pure electric variant would also be available in the new Tiguan family. Readers familiar with the e-Golf know that technically it is possible to offer the Tiguan as an EV since it sits on the same, MQB platform.

It seems unlikely that Volkswagen will abandon its plans to only produce bespoke EVs. The company has been clear about its goals with the MEB platform in this regard and it would take a significant shift in strategy to change course now. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for mainstream automakers, with Volkswagen Group brands no exception, to launch market-specific models, including EVs on older platforms. A possibility is that the Tiguan EV is designed exclusively for China where the ID.4 hasn’t exactly received the success Volkswagen intended.

Regardless, we don’t see the VW Tiguan Electric arriving in the United States. Volkswagen is making the ID.4 accessible in the U.S. by localizing production and is reportedly planning new basic configurations.

Another possibility is that the spotted prototype is a plug-in hybrid variant. Perhaps the closed-off upper grille is Volkswagen hiding the new design or testing out a different intake system. The added weight of a new plug-in hybrid system could explain why the prototype sits oddly low at the rear.

No LWB version

Reports say that the next-gen 2023 VW Tiguan line-up won’t include the Allspace long-wheelbase version. Given that the Tiguan LWB has proven its popularity worldwide with a remarkable share of 55% in global production, the company is planning a standalone model to replace the seven-seat variant.

Citing an internally circulated document, Automotive News Europe reported in 2020 that Volkswagen plans to manufacture a new SUV based on the Chinese market VW Tayron at the Wolfsburg plant in Germany from 2024. In the Auto Bild interview in November 2021, Brandstätter revealed that Volkswagen is considering making the VW Tayron in Wolfsburg.

The German-made Tayron could be the Tiguan Allspace‘s successor, improving in all areas from the previous model. If the Tiguan reverts to a five-seater like in its first generation, expect a streamlined exterior that is sharper and bolder, an evolutionary interior with improved comfort and convenience, and more safety, possibly including a new front center airbag between the seats.

Release Date

The next-gen VW Tiguan could debut in the first half of 2023 and go on sale next summer. We were expecting the premiere in H2 2022, but it seems like that’s no longer the case. The U.S. could get the next-gen compact SUV as an MY2024 product. In the midst of a global pandemic, a shortage in semiconductor chips, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the auto supply chain has caused delays in the product programs of most companies.

Competitors

Chief rivals are the usual suspects – likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

2023 VW Tiguan FAQs

What is the next-gen VW Tiguan release date?

German reports say that the next-gen VW Tiguan will be ready in 2023.

Which models will the 2023 VW Tiguan compete with?

Alternatives to the 2023 VW Tiguan would include the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

What is the expected price of the next-gen VW Tiguan PHEV?

The price of the next-gen Tiguan eHybrid should fall in the EUR 40,000-45,000 bracket.

Featured image: Herbert Diess via Linkedin