In the States, Volkswagen's Tiguan has been struggling to find buyers, but over in Europe, there the cute-ute has been going gangbusters, enjoying wait-list levels of popularity.
No surprise, then, that it's Europe that will get a racier looking model first. Dubbed "R Line," the pumped-up Tiguan is primarily an appearance package, not really a full-blown performance model. In any case, the Tig benefits from a reworked front-end including a revised splitter and a matte chrome-finish grille, although perhaps the most distinctive element of the crossover's transformation are the fender flares that house a set of 19-inch alloys, which are tied together by a new set of side sills. Out back, there's a new bumper fascia incorporating an air diffuser motif and a discrete spoiler. All-in, it's a clean looking package that reminds us of VW's Tiguan concept from SEMA in 2008, albeit better resolved with a more unified appearance, particularly along the bodysides.
There are the usual interior upgrades for this sort of package as well, including R branded sport seats, aluminum pedal pads and trim, and additional standard equipment like dual-zone climate control. The biggest departure, however, is the fitment of a flat-bottomed wheel, a familiar looking (but entirely welcome) addition.
Volkswagen is providing no information about driveline upgrades, so for now, at least, the buyer apparently gets his or her choice of the same 2.0-liter TSI gasoline four-cylinder or either of a pair of 2.0-liter TDI diesels available in lesser versions. The Tiguan R Line will hit UK dealers in June, with prices ranging from £24,635 (nearly $37k USD) for the less powerful TDI on up to £26,305 (over $39k USD) for TSI engine.
VW remains mum on any plans for the States, but given the trickle of Tigs leaving dealers at the moment, it may be a tough sell. On the other hand, a racier looking model may be exactly what is required to jumpstart interest in the model, so who knows? Official press release after the jump.