VW Tiguan GTE Active Technology and AWD System
This year was mostly a rollover year when it comes to the Volkswagen lineup which means the models retain the same great features, with a few key updates. Some of the things to be excited about include the MIB II infotainment system available in most models and improved driver assistance features, but only the 2016 Volkswagen Passat offered a facelift. Suddenly it seems we’re flooded with even more exciting news, as we’ve turned the corner into a new year and the start of some important shows. CES 2016 brought us the BUDD-e, and now at NAIAS we’re learning more about the off-road capability of the Tiguan GTE Active, both showing that EVs and hybrids are the best direction for VW. Today we’re looking at the VW Tiguan GTE Active technology and AWD system, which has us excited for what future production models could look like.
Why we love the Tiguan GTE Active
Let’s not split hairs, the answer is we basically love everything about it. The technology includes a 9.2-inch infotainment system with gesture controls, which is a function we expect in vehicles as early as next year. Technology is always an interesting topic, but the real eye opener is the 4Motion Active Control system. We don’t expect to see the Tiguan GTE Active going from concept to reality, but we know some Middletown, NY residents who would love to see the new 4Motion system make it into our vehicles during these harsh winter months. This all-wheel drive system is operated with a rotary switch, with the following six modes manually activated:
- On road (Comfort or Eco)
- Offroad (Rocks, Sludge & Sand, or Gravel)
- Charge (battery is charged while driving)
- Battery Hold (maintains a constant battery charge)
Current models with 4Motion don’t have manual activation, with the system working automatically when traction is lost. What with Volkswagen models offering some impressive quality, you may not have considered taking yours off-road, but if you were wondering why the sport is so often missing from sport utility vehicle, the Tiguan Active GTE is answering that question. A replaceable sturdy front skid plate and higher ride height are among the design changes that protect the model during more adventurous drives, while also giving it a rugged look.
It’s hard to predict exactly what an automaker has in mind, as companies love to hype us up with surprises, but this is the second GTE concept model to be shown in America, with the first being the ultra-athletic Golf GTE Sport. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, as it is a relatively new one and not a familiar site here in the U.S., GTE stands for Grand Tourer Electric, which means Volkswagen is taking a crack at not only building cars that are more environmentally responsible, but that won’t feel sluggish. There are two reasons EVs aren’t catching up with gasoline. The first is they aren’t practical when it comes to range, but the plug-in Tiguan GTE Active concept gets 580 miles thanks to the help of the 12.4 kWh battery paired with two electric motors and a 148 horsepower engine.
Inventory Check: Current Fuel-Efficient VWs
The second reason is that they just aren’t as fun to drive in many cases. How does 221 horsepower sound? That’s the combined output of this concept’s powertrain, and we don’t think it’s too shabby at all. Finish it off with better fuel economy, with some GTE models hitting up in the triple digits in mpg ratings, and the only question we’re left asking is when can we get one and how much does it cost?
Would the Tiguan GTE Active be a hit in the U.S. market? Leave us a comment with your opinion, and be sure to check back here at the Compass Volkswagen Blog for more posts on the latest VW news.