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VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a Sporty Off-Road Hybrid

12 Janvier 2016 - Autoblog

VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Volkswagen is keen to get the public focused on its future, and not its diesel-fueled past. One major component necessary to make that goal a reality revolves around new products, and specifically those powered by squeaky-clean electricity.

Enter the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept you see above, which is based on the second-generation, seven-passenger crossover the German automaker has promised to launch in the United States in 2017.

Hybrid vehicles are nothing new, but the Tiguan GTE Active offers a unique take on the well-worn gasoline/electricity equation. Separate electric motors power the front and rear wheels independently. In normal driving conditions, only the rear wheels are driven. When conditions call for it, or if the driver activates four-wheel drive, the front electric motor kicks into action. Depending on what mode the car is in, a 148-horsepower, turbocharged, gasoline-fed engine can either provide additional power to the front wheels through a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, or it can use the front motor as a generator to charge the vehicle's batteries. The gasoline engine is alternatively capable of powering the front wheels itself without electric assist.

Unique to the Tiguan GTE Active Concept are off-road and sporty GTE driving modes. By using a console-mounted dial, the driver can access preset driving parameters for Rocks, Sludge and Sand, or Gravel. Other settings include On-Road, Sport, Snow, Charge, and Battery Hold, which maintains a set amount of charge in the battery. A separate button allows the driver to switch the car from its standard Hybrid mode and into EV mode or GTE mode. The latter setting calls up maximum performance, allowing for a top speed of 194 km per hour and a 0-100 run of 6.4 seconds. All those modes sound a wee bit complicated, making us curious to see how such a system would work in the real world, should a vehicle like this ever make it into production.

Instead of going for an overtly eco-friendly design, the VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept looks ready for an off-road adventure. The machine is raised nearly two inches higher than the normal Tiguan, with improved ground clearance and approach/departure angles. Skid plates and tow hooks, coupled with a burly roof rack complete the off-road look. Inside, VW's recent forays into gesture control are on display front and center as part of the concept's 9.2-inch LCD screen. A so-called Active Info Display resides in front of the driver, and it's all set off with Dragon Red accents on the dash. Apple Carplay and Android Auto join VW's selection of in-car apps.

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