Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept 1

The 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is the stage for the global debut of the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept, a rugged version of the Tiguan GTE Concept that premiered alongside the second-generation Tiguan at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

As you can tell from the chunky tyres, the GTE Active Concept looks to be more adapted to tackle rough terrain. To help it do so, the concept is powered by a turbocharged, direct-injected TSI petrol engine (likely the same 1.4 litre mill as on the GTE Concept) that provides 148 hp and 249 Nm. Assistance comes in the form of two electric motors that are powered by a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery, the latter charged either externally or via the gasoline engine.

A 54 hp electric motor is assigned to power the front wheels, and is housed within the casing of the SUV’s six-speed DSG automatic transmission. A second electric motor with 114 hp powers the rear wheels instead. The total system output possible is 221 hp, sent to all four wheels via a 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Fuel economy-wise, the hybrid powertrain is said to provide a maximum range of 933 km.

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept 2

The Tiguan GTE Active Concept will make the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 6.4 seconds, with a top speed of 193 km/h (112 km/h in all-electric mode). Its hybrid powertrain can also be direct drive to the front, rear, or all four wheels depending the driving mode selected. As for the off-road aspect, the 4Motion Active Control comes with six driving modes that is controlled via a rotary dial.

With the mechanical aspect dealt with, Volkswagen also took the initiative to spruce up the Tiguan GTE Active’s looks to make it look more off-road ready. Built on the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) architecture, the concept measure 4,493 mm long, 1,900 mm wide, 1,765 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,682 mm.

To protect the SUV from the perils of nature (stones, bushes, etc.), there is a matte aluminium shield with four solid black polymer protectors. Matte aluminium is also used for the underbody guard and rear bumper (with the same four polymer protectors as the front). Finally the tyres at 245/70 in size, wrapped around a set of 16-inch wheels.

Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept 14

Unlike the all-terrain exterior, the interior is more focused on keeping the driver comfy. With two-tone Nappa leather used for the upholstery, the SUV also gains Dragon Red strips in the air-con vent frames to mirror the colour of the exterior paint. Meanwhile, the seat surfaces, armrests and door inserts are all finished in Rhodium Grey, with Dark Graphite used for the side surfaces and seatbacks (outer surfaces).

The leather surfaces themselves have a three-dimensional pattern of rhomboidal shapes. On the technology front, the main standout is the digital Active Info Display, a 9.2-inch touchscreen that has a resolution of 1,280×640 pixels. The unit is linked to the automaker’s next-generation modular infotainment platform (MIB). Connectivity is well taken care of, with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink features available.