Volkswagen Tiguan XL and Coupe due to expand SUV family

3 Feb, 2016 8:40pm John McIlroy

Volkswagen planning a Tiguan-based SUV boom with a stretched 7-seater and a sleek coupe SUV set for debuts

Volkswagen is preparing to build on the arrival of the new Tiguan compact SUV by offering “a whole family” of models carrying the name - starting with a larger seven-seat edition but also including a five-door coupe that will rival the Range Rover Evoque.

The new Tiguan is due on sale in April; it’s 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.

VW Tiguan XL spy shots

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.

We've already seen spy shots of the extended Tiguan testing under a Passat Estate body shell. Look closely at the pictures and you'll see the wheelarches are swollen to accomodate the wider track and under the back end and you can spot a pumped-up rear axle likely to be accomodating the Tiguan XL's four-wheel drive system. Our exclusive image shows how the production version could look.

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.

Coupe SUV to join the Tiguan family

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.” 

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. 

Best SUVs to buy now

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.” 

Volkswagen also has plans for a number of smaller SUVs, including a production version of the Golf-sized T-Roc and a Polo-based rival for the Nissan Juke, likely to be called T-Cross.

Would you be interested in a seven-seater VW Tiguan or a sleek coupe version? Let us know below...