Covers come off VW's baby 4x4

29 November 2006

This is the much-anticipated new Volkswagen Tiguan 4x4, unveiled as a concept at the Los Angeles motor show.

The Tiguan is VW's first serious attempt on the competitive compact 4x4 market. It will be aiming to break the dominance of the Toyota RAV4 and fend off the new Land Rover Freelander and Honda CR-V.

There will be further tweaks to the styling before the production version is shown at the Frankfurt motor show next September. The nose is likely to be toned down slightly, the wheelarches reduced and the 19-inch wheels replaced by smaller, less costly items, albeit in the same style.

The Tiguan is based on the Golf but has wider tracks for added stability. Production versions won’t ride quite as low as this concept, and VW says the Tiguan will be suitable for light off-roading.

Secrecy continues to surround the exact specification of the production version, although it is understood front-wheel drive will be standard, with four-wheel drive optional. At around £20,000, base versions of the Tiguan will be pitched close to the RAV4.

The LA show car is powered by a VW’ new Clean TDI. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, it uses new Bluetec emissions technology.

With up to 170bhp, the engine will replace today’s 2.0-litre diesel in 2008. The Tiguan will also come with other established VW engines, including the Golf GTi’s 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo.

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