On display alongside the new generation of Volkswagen Tiguan this week in Frankfurt is the company’s first plug-in hybrid SUV concept based on its new MQB modular architecture, dubbed the Tiguan GTE.
Volkswagen’s new design for the second generation of this SUV isn’t one of the more dramatic facelifts seen recently. but perhaps it didn’t need to be. The carmaker said the current model year of the Tiguan posted the highest number of new car registrations for the SUV segment within Germany last month. And it’s a segment said to hold strong potential for future growth.
To build the Tiguan GTE concept, Volkswagen integrated an electric motor into the six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. This is paired with a 1.4 liter turbocharged direct injected gasoline engine for an overall rating of 218 horsepower.
The plug-in hybrid also features a 13-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery and a “solar module that generates renewable electricity that is fed into the battery, enabling up to 1,000 additional kilometers of zero emissions electric driving.” said Volkswagen.
This is where it helps to read the fine print, as Volkswagen’s numbers start to get a little squirrelly. The Tiguan GTE doesn’t actually deliver 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of all-electric driving in one go. Rather, this is an estimated calculation of carbon-free miles that a driver might get after a full year.
“Under ideal conditions, the energy that it generates annually is sufficient to add up to 1,000 km of driving range (Germany 500 km, Southern Europe 800 to 1,000 km), depending on the regional solar radiation power,” Volkswagen clarified.
In one charge, the Tiguan GTE has an all-electric range of 50 kilometers (31 miles).
Volkswagen quotes potential fuel economy of the Tiguan GTE according to the liberal NEDC cycle at 1.9l/100km (123.8 mpg). Expect this number to be lower if a plug-in version of the Tiguan comes to the U.S., as the EPA’s fuel consumption estimates tend to be more conservative than ratings from Europe.