VW Tiguan GTE hybrid concept with solar module wows audience at Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on September 15, 2015

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.

Press Release


The International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt will be the stage for the presentation of the new Tiguan. After selling over 2.64 million units of the first generation, Volkswagen is revealing the latest generation of the SUV at today's Group Night and at the IAA which begins tomorrow.

Volkswagen is showing four versions* of the new Tiguan at the IAA (open to the public: 17 to 27 September). The production versions being presented are the exceptionally sporty Tiguan R-Line, the classic on-road model and an off-road version tuned specifically for off-road use. Meanwhile, the Tiguan GTE – a concept vehicle with a plug-in hybrid drive (160 kW / 218 PS ofsystem power) – offers an outlook on the future development of the best-selling SUV.

The second generation of the best-seller is the first Volkswagen Group SUV to be based on the path-breaking MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform. It improves all of the properties of the Tiguan. The body proportions of the latest Volkswagen SUV are perceptibly sporty, and the design shows charisma from all perspectives. Its weight was also reduced by over 50 kg compared to the previous model. Meanwhile, the amount of space offered in the interior and luggage compartment has taken a gigantic leap forward. The boot volume of the new Tiguan can take on up to 615 litres of cargo (loaded to the back of the rear bench); when the rear seat backrests are folded, its capacity increases to 1,655 litres. This represents a gain of 145 litres.

The engines are also characterised by gains in efficiency. A broad range of eight engines is available; they have power outputs ranging between 85 kW / 115 PS and176 kW / 240 PS. The drives were made more powerful, yet they are up to 24 per cent more fuel-efficient than those of the previous model.The new 4MOTION Active Control also lets drivers adjust the all-wheel drive system more individually and easier to all possible driving conditions. Thanks to its impressive drive concept, the Tiguan has been engineered for trailer loads of up to 2,500 kg. The assistance systems perfect the vehicle's convenience, dynamism and safety (including Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Lane Assist and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, all as standard).

Online services open up new service dimensions (such as automatic accident notification, online traffic and parking space info, vehicle status report), the on-board electronics integrate all of today's smartphones of the Apple and Android worlds into the functionality of the infotainment systems via App Connect, and even tablets become an integral part of the automobile via the Media Control app. This has resulted in a Tiguan with which Volkswagen is redefining broad aspects of the A-SUV segment.

*There are not current values to the fuel consumption yet.

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