Volkswagen gave its handsome new compact SUV, the Tiguan, its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the US last week.
It unveiled a concept version of the Toyota RAV4-sized car which is under evaluation for the New Zealand market.
The first news of the Tiguan’s development came with the debut of Concept A in Berlin earlier this year. VW named the model in July, after polling more than 350,000 readers of magazines in Germany’s Auto Bild group.
VW says the Los Angeles concept car takes the Tiguan a step closer to production and hints strongly at how the final version could look.
The LA concept maintains the baby Touareg appearance of the Concept A, and is 4.4 metres long, 1.85m wide and 1.69m high.
Exterior designer Klaus Bischoff says it was “very important for us to have the car
appear powerful and muscular. For us that was a higher priority than anything else. An off-roader needs a long bonnet and an upright position.
“That lends the vehicle self-assuredness and power.”
The Concept Tiguan’s face and side profile make it immediately recognisable as a Volkswagen, but are different from all existing models.
The Concept Tiguan’s tyres are 19-inch prototypes, developed by Continental. They have an orange radial stripe beneath the tyre profile which matches the car’s paint colour.
This colour is not simply painted on to the tyres, but penetrates the rubber layer as a baked in component of the casing.
The anthracite-coloured alloy rims are likely to feature in the production vehicle.
At the rear, the lights are integrated into the shoulder section like those on the Eos and Passat, and the steeply sloping tailgate extends right down to the bumpers, giving the Tiguan an unmistakable SUV look.
The black, silver and orange theme continues inside the car, and the vintage-style black leather seats are trimmed with an orange pattern which mirrors the tyre tread.
A panoramic sunroof adds light to the interior which can seat up to five occupants. The rear bench seat can slide fore and aft and be folded down to increase load space. n