The latest Volkswagen Tiguan has just gone on sale in New Zealand, the first VW Group SUV to sit on the MQB chassis architecture, which underpins everything from the Golf Mk 7 to the Skoda Octavia.
The architecture allows the Tiguan to be stretched, giving the production-ready vehicle pictured above a 110mm longer wheelbase and larger rear overhang. The rear door is also longer to allow for easy access into a third row of seats.
The so-called Tiguan XL has precisely the same wheelbase as Skoda’s seven-seat SUV, the Kodiak, due in New Zealand next year. “We have plans for a whole Tiguan family over the next two to three years,” said Dr Jochen Bohle, head of VW’s compact car division.
Variants on the Tiguan would continue to use the name. “It is almost like a brand in itself and our product and sales teams believe it will support more than one car,” said Bohle. A coupe-like SUV version of Tiguan is likely, along the lines of the BMW X6.
Volkswagen has said for some time that it plans to expand its range of crossover/SUVs. The evidence is on this page, in the form of the seven-seat Tiguan and five-seat Polo.
The Polo is hidden under camouflage, the stretched Tiguan is obviously undisguised. The Polo is likely to be named the T-Cross when the production model breaks cover next year. The Tiguan name won’t change.
Names beginning with the letter ‘T’ is VW’s house style for new SUVs. It’s part of policy to name vehicles after natural phenomena and mythical creatures. Touareg is named after a nomadic tribe in the Sahara Desert. Tiguan is a mix of tiger and the iguana lizard.
There was the Taigun concept, a SUV based on the up! city car. That project has apparently been shelved. VW not long ago registered more names beginning with ‘T’ – Trillium, Teracor, Terasun, Tribe. Trillium is a flower with three petals.
VW’s name game continues. Passat is German for trade winds. Polo has something to do with polar winds, just as Jetta has with the jet stream. Golf has more to do with the Gulf Stream than the game. Eos, VW’s tin-top convertible, is named after the mythical Greek goddess of the dawn. Amarok is Eskimo for ‘wolf.’
The new Polo SUV have a beefed-up body for a more rugged look and the ride height will be raised. The changes will further distinguish the SUV from standard rivals in the range, like the Nissan Juke, Citroen C4 Cactus and Peugeot 2008.
The newcomer will be available with a choice of front or all-wheel drive – a feature made possible by the VW Group’s flexible MQB architecture – and manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
It is expected to go on sale in Europe next year, shortly after the next-generation Polo hatchback. Engines will start with a revised version of VW’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit for front-drive models, and freshened 1.5-litre petrols and diesels for all-wheel drives.