New-generation VW Tiguan ups the turbodiesel ante
Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW – eat your heart out. The world’s most powerful four-cylinder turbodiesel production engine belongs to … Volkswagen.
In an unexpected display of one-upmanship, the VW Group has opted to debut its new, high-tech 2,0-litre bi-turbodiesel powerplant in the latest VW Tiguan compact SUV, which makes its South African debut at the Festival of Motoring next week.
The advanced engine is credited with 176 kW of maximum power, coupled to a torque peak of 500 Nm, the latter sustained between 1 750 and 2 500 rpm.
The VW mill’s closest competitor is Mercedes-Benz’s 150 kW/500 Nm two-litre turbodiesel, offered in the C-Class, CLS and GLC ranges. Both Audi and BMW have to currently make do with 140 kW of muscle from their best two-litre four-pot oil burners.
Not surprisingly, the Tiguan’s top-end bi-turbodiesel is only offered in conjunction with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system, while a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox is the only transmission choice.
From the VW Group’s perspective, you’d expect a flagship engine such as this – and especially one competing in a key segment – to be given its maiden journey in an Audi product.
But the decision to give the Tiguan the first bite at the bi-turbodiesel apple could be a strategic one. With the continued fallout from the emissions scandal still plaguing the German marque, it needs to attract some shine, while the new Tiguan is a key model with high volume expectations.
The bi-turbodiesel’s debut in the Tiguan will be followed by a wider rollout of the engine across both the VW and Audi brands. We’d expect a 180 kW version to be offered in next year’s new Audi Q3, as well as in the current A4 and the next-generation Q5.
South African buyers are unlikely to be offered the top-end bi-turbodiesel Tiguan model, at least not initially. Instead, expect Volkswagen here to focus on strong value and competitive pricing with a drivetrain range that will favour front-wheel drive and smaller, more frugal engines.