Update: ‘ID. Tiguan vs. ID.4’ section added and ‘Design & Specifications’ section updated.
Though a VW Tiguan EV isn’t available on the market just yet, it’s only a question of time. This topic is an internal discussion at the Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, as product planners opportunistically review the future of their brand icons while expanding the VW ID. line-up at the same time.
Volkswagen Group won’t leave behind its “icons” while moving into a ZEV-only future. The company sees the Tiguan and such other popular products as an opportunity to scale up its ZEV business. These models can be “transformed,” Oliver Blume, CEO, Volkswagen Group, said during the company’s Annual Media Conference 2023 event on March 14, 2023.
It’s my expectations that our icons—well, let’s take the Golf or the GTI brand or the Tiguan, the Audi Quattro, the 911—now these are outstanding iconic products and they, I believe, can be transformed. For the 911, the example is that we’re going to offer hybrid powertrains in order to move towards e-mobility. But if you take the Golf or the Tiguan, I see huge opportunities to turn that product into an electrical variant.Oliver Blume, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Annual Media Conference 2023 on March 14, 2023)
During a VW ID. Buzz media drive in early 2022, Klaus Zyciora, Volkswagen Group’s former Head of Design, said he will fight for a new VW Golf EV, YouTube channel Autogefühl’s Thomas Majchrzak revealed in a video. In December 2022, Blume hinted that the future Golf EV may be joined by the VW Tiguan EV.
The Volkswagen brand is currently examining how it can take icons such as the Golf or the Tiguan into the electric future.Oliver Blume, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Extraordinary General Meeting 2022 on December 16, 2022)
ID. Tiguan vs. ID.4
Model planners at Volkswagen understand that there is ample demand for an electric SUV in the Tiguan segment in a few years. Speaking to Autocar at the 2022 LA Auto Show, CEO Thomas Schäfer referred to the ID.3 as a Golf Plus, and logic says the ID.4 is similarly a Tiguan Plus.
The ID. Tiguan would be a more sensible choice for customers who don’t need an electric SUV that’s more spacious than the gas-powered Tiguan. It would draw customers for its simpler design and lower price.
Design & Specifications
Autocar reports that the Tiguan EV will have a more traditional and upright exterior than the ID.4. So, we expect a taller body and a flatter roofline that, while impacting aerodynamics, give customers more practicality.
On December 7, 2022, Volkswagen announced it will invest approx. EUR 460 million (USD 511 million) in its main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, to prepare it for EV production. The company said it plans to manufacture an electric compact SUV based on the MEB+ platform, an updated version of the MEB that underpins the ID.4, ID.5, ID.6, ID.7, and ID. Buzz, at this factory.
According to a report Autocar released in its magazine on April 5, 2023, the compact electric SUV Volkswagen was referring to in the December 2022 announcement is the rumored Tiguan EV.
The MEB+ platform will allow faster charging speeds of up to 200 kW and longer (WLTP) ranges of up to 700 km (435 miles), though we expect the all-electric Tiguan to offer up to 300 miles. The battery pack used in the MEB+ platform-based models will consist of the highly-standardized unified cells manufactured at Volkswagen Group-owned PowerCo’s upcoming cell factory in Salzgitter. Production of the highly-standardized cells at the German plant will commence in 2025.
According to a report Auto Zeitung published in its magazine on March 1, 2023, the battery pack of the Tiguan Electric will be significantly lighter than that of MEB EVs, which should help improve the range and the handling. Moreover, the German publication expects Volkswagen to offer a high-performance GTI variant of the Tiguan Electric with an output of 330-367 kW (442-492 hp). In terms of performance, that makes it a cheaper and smaller alternative to the Ioniq 5 N or EV6 GT.
Electrified Tiguan spotted on test
On March 6, 2023, South Africa’s CAR Magazine released pictures of two pre-facelift second-gen Tiguans with “Elektrofahrzeug (electric vehicle)” stickers testing in the country. South Africa is a test bed for VW engineers. Earlier, we spotted the ID.3, ID.4, and ID.7 models in the continent for hot weather testing, to understand how the various onboard systems cope with the dust, temperature and humidity. In addition to the Tiguan EV prototypes, CAR Magazine says there was a Taigo test mule with an “Elektrofahrzeug” sticker. Could that test mule be linked to the ID.2 SUV?
It’s possible Volkswagen is already testing a pure-electric Tiguan if these weren’t development prototypes. Our initial expectation was that the launch would take place around 2030, but is Volkswagen looking at a shorter timeline?
Volkswagen’s top seller
For the record, the Tiguan is Volkswagen’s best-selling model worldwide. Of all the different models that Volkswagen has introduced in the 21st century, the Tiguan is likely the most successful and stable product in terms of sales and profitability.
As Volkswagen transitions into an EV-only brand, fully electrifying the Tiguan, its global sales champion, will be inevitable. There is room for a compact SUV positioned below the ID.4, an accessible option for regular consumers who aren’t coming in for the latest technology or gizmos. Here’s where the all-electric Tiguan could find its place in the line-up.
Featured image: VW Tiguan Electric (inspired by the VW Gen.Travel Concept) rendering by TopElectricSUV, purely for illustration.