We knew Volkswagen was up to something, but this is our first physical confirmation that a larger Tiguan XL is on the way. New spyshots reveal the extended wheelbase SUV testing with absolutely no disguise.
The images show an extension of both the wheelbase and rear overhang for the Nissan Qashqai rival, which is expected to accommodate an extra row of seats for occasional use. The images were taken at a private VW test centre in Europe, hinting that China might not be the only market where a bigger Tiguan is sold.
VW confirmed to Auto Express earlier this year than an SUV range expansion was its next priority, starting with a larger seven-seat edition of the Tiguan but also including a five-door coupe version that will rival the Range Rover Evoque.
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The latest Tiguan is the first VW Group SUV to sit on the MQB chassis architecture - the same set of components that underpins everything from the Mk7 Golf to the Skoda Octavia. The Tiguan’s version of MQB, known internally as A2, will support the forthcoming Seat Ateca and the next generation of the Skoda Yeti and Audi Q3.
However, speaking at VW’s winter driving launch of the Tiguan, VW’s compact cars boss Dr Jochen Böhle revealed that the firm intends to expand its SUV line-up dramatically - and that a more style-focused, coupe-esque version of the new 4x4 is on the cards. “We have plans for a whole Tiguan family over the next two to three years,” he said.
VW recently registered several names beginning with the letter T - its chosen ‘house style’ for SUVs - including Teracor, Tribe, Trillium and Terasun. However, Böhle insisted that the variants on the Tiguan would continue to use that model’s badge. “It is almost like a brand in itself, Tiguan, and our product and sales teams believe it will support more than one car,” he said.
The first extension of the Tiguan brand will be literally that: a longer, seven-seat version of the car, with a 110mm longer wheelbase and a larger rear overhang. It’s likely to be called Tiguan XL and will be built in China and Mexico.
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We previously saw spy shots of the extended Tiguan testing under a Passat Estate body shell. These new images are the first we've seen of what looks like the finished product. The rear overhang is notably chunkier than the current Tiguan, while the rear door is also longer to allow for easy access into a third row of seats.
VW UK is said to be studying the car closely although there are no plans at present to manufacture it in Europe, and exchange rates could make it prohibitively expensive. The XL will sit on a longer version of the A2 platform, with precisely the same wheelbase as Skoda’s forthcoming seven-seat SUV, the Kodiak.
Böhle confirmed, though, that VW is also pushing ahead with a five-door coupe version of the Tiguan that will give the firm a rival for the Evoque and Mazda’s forthcoming coupe version of the CX-5, as previewed by the Koeru concept. “It is a very exciting car, the coupe,” he said. “Dr Diess [new VW brand chairman Herbert Diess] is very strong behind this model, and it’s looking fantastic.”
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The Tiguan coupe will share a wheelbase with the regular SUV, but it’s unlikely to get that car’s option of a lower, ‘on-road’ trim or an ‘off-road’ spec that allows more extreme approach and departure angles. “That’s in discussion, but I think our marketing and sales team believe it would be more road-focused,” said Böhle.
No production sites have been agreed for the coupe, which was not part of the intended line-up when planning for the new Tiguan started in 2011. However, Böhle confirmed that as a ‘global’ model, the coupé would almost certainly have a factory line in Europe. “It could be Wolfsburg,” he said, “but perhaps it could end up at [Seat factory] Martorell.”
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