Monday, June 04, 2007

Motor Trend offers some new details about the Tiguan

The Tiguan is just about ready to roll off the production line in just a few months and Volkswagen is now in the process of doing some final hot weather testing in the hot Namibian desert. Motor Trend was lucky enough to be invited to experience the last leg of the 4-month, 25,000-mile testing of the Tiguan. They left Namibia with some key information about the Tiguan, and, more specifically, what exactly we will be getting this side of the Atlantic.

One thing to note about the four prototype vehicles is that they are heavily camouflaged (and even badged to look like Hyundai?). There do not appear to be major changes in styling from the Concept Tiguan that debuted last November in the LA Motor Show. The front end treatment may have changed ever so slightly from the concept version, especially the grille. The back remains more or less the same, minus the twin tailpipes of the concept.

All four prototype Tiguans were equipped identically. Each had Volkswagen's Europe-only 1.4L TSI that made 150 hp., 16-inch wheels, and a new Haldex four-wheel drive system. Two of the vehicles came with what's called a "Track and Field" package, adding a front fascia that is capable of approaching a 28-degree slope and and and Offroad mode that engages ABS, differential locks, the throttle, and both hill descent and climb features. So, let's sort through all that and see what we won't get.

We won't get the TSI engine. US spec Tiguans will instead get the 200-horsepower, 2.0L turbo that is common in Volkswagen's US lineup. We also won't get the "Track and Field" package, not right away at least. Instead, we will get a "Sport and Style" package (only 18-degree approach angle and no Offroad mode). Manual or Automatic transmissions will be offered, DSG forthcoming a year or so after launch. An electronic parking brake is standard. Four-wheel drive will be the only one available at launch; front-wheel drive models may come at a later date. Additional options for US bound Tiguans will include a panoramic roof, wheel upgrades up to 18 inches, a Dynaudio audio upgrade, Park Assist, a new Siemens nav system with off-road navigation, and a 30 gig hard drive. Of course, a lot can change between now and product launch. Some options may be scrached, others added. But we now have a better picture of what to expect.

No price points were revealed but a comparison was made to the Honda CR-V, which starts at US$25,000. The 2.0L Bluetec was mentioned and is still on track for a late 2008 arrival, shortly after its release in the Summer of next year.

Additional photos after the jump.

[Update]: Volkswagen's official press release is now included after the jump.

Source: Motor Trend





WOLFSBURG, Germany - Tiguan comes with a completely new generation radio and navigation system.

The first SUV worldwide with Park Assist

Offroad Mode activates an armada of assistance systems at the touch of a switch

Chassis layout enables high reserves of agility and safety


Volkswagen will complete the development phase of the new Tiguan with a final extreme test in Namibia. During the final acceptance drive on the African continent, the electronic components and chassis of the new SUV are the primary focus of testing. Considering the electronics, a technical highlight on board the Tiguan is of special interest for the testers: the completely new generation radio and navigation system. This was developed in close cooperation with the most important local Volkswagen operations in Europe, Asia and America. Worldwide development collaboration made it possible for a wider than ever pool of specialized know-how, and also the requirements of all markets, to influence the devices. The top system of the new line, with the designation RNS 510, has a 30 GB hard disk and is controlled with a touch screen. A rear-view camera enables a view behind in this case.

Completely new electronic systems also simplify offroad driving in the Tiguan. The particularly agile and dynamic SUV uses an innovative network of assistance systems with the name of “Offroad Mode”. Just on touch of a switch activates a whole armada of safety features, supporting the driver in a multitude of situations.


THE TIGUAN VERSIONS

Innovation: All engines of the Tiguan are charged.
18 and 28 degrees: Two front ends with different entry angles.


Five motors. All of the engine and body versions of the Tiguan have to “swallow” the dust of Namibia in this final test. Volkswagen will be offering the SUV – and this is unique so far – exclusively with charged engines. The TSIs (gasoline) output 110 kW / 150 PS, 125 kW / 170 and 147 kW / 200 PS; and the TDIs (diesel) develop 103 kW / 140 PS and 125 kW / 170 PS.

Two front ends.
The two body variants of the Tiguan differ primarily in their front ends. The “Trend & Fun” and “Sport & Style” versions are designed for a maximum entry angle of 18 degrees in front. The “Track & Field” Tiguan that is tuned even more for offroad duty can assume entry angles of up to 28 degrees with its front end.

During the testing program in Africa, as however already mentioned, the emphasis is less on engines and entry angles than on final checking of the electronics and chassis.


THE TIGUAN CHASSIS

Front axle: McPherson system with aluminum support frame.
Rear axle: Innovative four-link rear axle is ideally matched to the four-wheel drive system 4MOTION.

Long before the first prototype was built, it had been decided that the new Tiguan should be an extremely actively driving and safe SUV. The development team pulled out all the stops to achieve this goal. The Tiguan now has to demonstrate in Africa that it achieves neutral to lightly understeering handling and an unusually low roll angle. Furthermore, the road holes along the edge of the Namib Desert should once more test how well the highly dynamic driving characteristics and excellent ride comfort interact under the hardest conditions. Because the demands on the car were clearly stated in the specification: to set benchmarks in dynamics, comfort and active safety. These goals were foremost in chassis development:

* Agile driving behavior

* Very good vibration behavior and ride comfort

* Low roll angle with harmonic roll dynamics

* High driving dynamic stability

* Good Offroad handling


Front axle. The demands are achieved with a chassis layout that sets standards in this class: at the front end, the Tiguan has a McPherson axle specially optimized for the SUV with lower A-arm steering linkage and the wheels hung from damper struts. The axle is located with a one-piece aluminum sub frame.

Rear axle. The four-link rear axle has also been adapted to best suit the permanent four-wheel drive system 4MOTION. The four-link rear axle of the Tiguan is specially intended for this combination. The extremely robust, but at the same time dynamically laid out axle geometry has already proved itself in the Passat 4MOTION. However, to cope with the stresses of offroad driving, the Tiguan has an entirely newly developed and weight-optimized high-strength steel sub frame instead of the equivalent aluminum component.

The rear axle of the front-wheel drive Tiguan has been modified correspondingly. Items no longer found on board include: Cardan shaft, rear final drive and drive shafts. But the sub frame is utilized in both drive variants. The innovative modular system of this rear axle has a decidedly positive effect on costs.

For the rear axle, newly developed shock absorbers were developed with increased oil volume; a favorable temperature level makes the absorbers well equipped for even the toughest offroad use. Like the front damper struts, also newly developed, both components provide for exceptionally good ride comfort properties.

A new generation of steering. A technological highlight in the indirect chassis area is the completely new generation of electromechanical power steering. A decisive advantage of the system: Despite the very precise steering feeling, even in offroad operation no jolts whatsoever are transmitted to the steering wheel. Primarily responsible for this is a newly constructed steering gear.

Wheels and tires. Providing contact to the road or trail on the base versions of the Tiguan are 16-inch wheels with 215/65 R16 tires. The “Sport & Style” Tiguan also has as standard 17-inch alloy wheels and 235/55 R17 tires. 18-inch wheels with tires in 235/50 R18 format are available as special equipment.


TIGUAN ELECTRONICS

Innovation: First Volkswagen with a new generation radio and navigation system.
Safety at the press of a button: offroad switch activates network of assistance systems.


Also in the area of electronics, the Tiguan was designed to set new standards in the compact SUV class. Typical of Volkswagen is the high standard it sets for making the interface to the driver as comfortable as possible. An example of this on the Tiguan is a newly designed radio and navigation system generation. The software and hardware of this new system fulfill the highest demands for operation, sound and the multitude of functions offered.

The RNS 510. A glance at the top device – a radio navigation system with the designation RNS 510, emphasizes this impressively. The RNS 510 is controlled using fixed menu buttons, two knobs and a touch screen for the numerous information, entertainment and system functions. In this case a rear-view camera eases the view behind, a standard fitting.

The hardware of the RNS 510 includes a 6.5” wide VGA color display with 800 X 480 pixels and outstanding brilliance. A power PC processor with 400 MHz and its own graphic processor enable fast computing. The navigation and entertainment data are saved on a 30 GB hard disk. It is also possible to incorporate accessories into the RNS 510 like the telephone control, an iPod and other MP3 players. Combination with a Dynaudio sound system is also possible.

Offroad navigation. A further innovation of the RNS 510 is a specially developed offroad navigation system. This mode makes it possible to record up to 500 route points during a journey, even in non-digitized areas. This allows the driver to find his or her way back from offroad adventures into any desert or steppe. In edit mode, the driver can modify the route as desired. A glance at the map in the RNS 510 display offers the required orientation.

Park Assist. The further countless high-end technologies on board the Tiguan include the world’s first park steering assistant to be installed in a SUV. This is called Park Assist and enables automatic steering into a parking space.

Offroad Mode. The core capability of a SUV – offroad function – will also be dealt with and perfected electronically in the new Tiguan. And this through just one switch, which activates the Offroad Mode. This will be offered exclusively on the Tiguan “Track & Field” and will improve offroad vehicle handling significantly. The initial idea behind the “Offroad Mode” was that all key offroad support functions should be activated by a central user control. Specifically, one switch activates the “hill descent assistant” (for optimal control on slopes), “adaptation of driver’s pedal characteristic” (for finer gradations of torque), “EDS adaptation” (electronic differential locks are activated at the slightest slip), “ABS adaptation” (improved braking action on loose road materials), “hill climb assist” (support when climbing and protection of the clutch) and – in conjunction with automatic transmission – “gear preselect” (including optimal engine braking action). These numerous functions involve up to five ECUs that manage the systems.

The pushbutton itself is connected to the engine controller. From there, the information “Offroad Mode active” is communicated to other ECUs via the vehicle’s CAN bus. For safety reasons, the function has to be reactivated after each ignition cycle.

Just how “intelligently” the electronics react is demonstrated by considering an offroad driving situation that is not all that uncommon: An engine stall can even happen to professional drivers offroad. This deactivates the Offroad Mode, and assistance systems are turned off. But the electronics of the Tiguan detects this as a “stall” and when the engine is restarted all offroad assistance systems are up and running again immediately.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is this basically a Golf Plus?

Wed Jun 06, 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this basically a golf plus?

Wed Jun 06, 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Lorenzo said...

Yes and no. It is based off of the Golf, just as the Golf Plus is. At 174.3 inches long, 71.2 inches wide, 66.3 inches tall, and a 102.5 inch wheelbase, the Tiguan is bigger in every respect than the Golf Plus. That said, a modified Golf Plus was used as a test mule for the Tiguan and the dash is straight out of the Golf Plus.

Wed Jun 06, 05:40:00 PM  

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