Volkswagen took the covers off its first plug-in hybrid SUV at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. This Tiguan GTE is indicative of where the brand intends to take the Tiguan in the future. Exhibited as a concept vehicle, the Tiguan GTE is capable of generating a system power of 160 kW / 218 PS.
When in the all-electric mode, it can be driven up to 50 km in "E-Mode" with absolutely no emissions. It has a combined fuel consumption of an average of 1.9 l/100 km with a CO2 emissions rating of 42 g/km. Its driving range as an electric vehicle is quite long as it gains from being equipped with a lithium-ion battery (which can be charged externally up to 13.0 kWh) and the first-of-its-kind solar module that is built into the roof.
The energy generation from this module is dependent on the regional solar radiation power but with the ideal conditions, it can generate as much as 1,000 km of driving range annually. Conditions in Germany may cause it to produce energy for a 500 km drive while in Southern Europe, it can go as high as 800 to 1,000 km.
Powering this concept car through its front axle is a direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine (1.4 TSI with 115 kW) and an electric motor. The electric motor gets energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery. Volkswagen equipped the Tiguan GTE with a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) that the automaker developed specifically for use in a hybrid.
The gearbox housing is where this electric motor is fitted in. In addition, the hybrid drive comes with a charger and its power electronics consists of a process that converts DC power from the battery to AC power for the electric motor.
Aside from E-Mode, the other modes that the Tiguan GTE can be driven in are Hybrid, Battery Charge, or GTE. After the drive system is started, it’s automatic for this concept vehicle to drive in "E-Mode." But a switch is made to the "Hybrid" mode if it reaches a minimum battery charge level or if it needs a high power level.
Any of these situations turns off the "E-Mode" and the Tiguan GTE now acts like a classic full hybrid vehicle. The battery is charged regeneratively as the car decelerates and the TSI and/or electric motor may be activated depending on the driving conditions.
But if the driver presses the "E-Mode" button, a manual switch to zero-emissions is accomplished if the driver considers it necessary. The Tiguan can reach a 130 km/h top speed when it’s purely driven by the electric motor. By pressing on the GTE button, the driver can enjoy the sporty features of the concept car.
Only Volkswagen models that have a plug-in hybrid drive system have this GTE mode. Immediately noticeable is the more dynamic functioning of the steering, gearbox, and accelerator model. Meanwhile, the TSI tuning leads to a better performance.
Furthermore, the GTE can be taken to a “boosting” level wherein the TSI and electric motor work at the same time. This means that both the full system power and the maximum system torque have been made available. It takes just 8.1 seconds for the Tiguan GTE to accelerate to 100 km/h. It continues on to reach a 200 km/h top speed.