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.
IMPOSING NEW R LINE MODEL JOINS THE TIGUAN RANGE
An aggressive new model is set to join the Tiguan range this summer with the introduction of the new R Line model promising stylish new body additions on the outside and greater comfort inside.
Designed and built by Volkswagen Individual, a separate engineering wing of Volkswagen established in 2003 and assigned to special projects including the Passat R36 and Touareg R50, the new Tiguan R Line features significant visual changes over the standard Tiguan.
The basis for the new R Line is the Sport model added to which is a new body-coloured front splitter sitting below the front bumper along with a unique matt chrome grille section. Blistered wheel arches surround new R Line 19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels fitted with 255/40 tyres to lend the Tiguan a more purposeful stance. Next, a set of subtle body-colour sill extensions complete with matt chrome highlights are fitted leading into the new rear bumper complete with a small diffuser element. Finally, a small spoiler sits at the top of the rear window to complete the new look.
Inside the Tiguan R Line a new flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel is joined by a set of contoured sports seats complete with 'R' logos. New R Line aluminium pedals and trim. Advanced 2Zone climate control is also fitted as standard in addition to the already comprehensive range of standard equipment fitted to the Sport model. This includes four airbags, automatic lights, front fog lights, rain sensors and sports suspension.
The new R Line model is available fitted with a range of efficient 2.0-litre TDI common rail diesel engines in 140 PS and 170 PS outputs as well as a 2.0-litre TSI engine developing 200 PS. The Tiguan R Line can be specified with a choice of five colours; Candy White (pictured), Reflex Silver, Deep Black, Biscay Blue and Mountain Grey.
Sales of the new Tiguan R Line are due to start in June. Prices start at £24,635 for the 2.0-litre 140 PS model rising to £26,305 for the 2.0-litre TSI range-topping engine.