Now that Volkswagen’s revealed its facelifted Tiguan and new R flagship, the Wolfsburg-based brand’s readying a SUV-coupe variant of its family car for China... and the newcomer could be rolled out worldwide thereafter. Could this newcomer succeed in our market?
It seems Volkswagen has not yet exhausted the number of compact SUVs/crossovers that can be hatched from its MQB architecture… Next year, the facelifted Tiguan and its 235-kW R flagship derivative will be launched in South Africa and, although it remains to be seen whether the Nivus (underpinned by the MQB A0 platform of the Polo) will ultimately be made more widely available than South America and Europe, Volkswagen is clearly keen to exploit the popular compact family-car segment to the fullest.
The Car News China Facebook page recently published these images (reportedly taken from the Chinese patent office) of the Tiguan X coupe-SUV derivative, which is expected to be launched in China in a few months’ time. The newcomer, which will be built by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture in the People's Republic, is the 3rd variant of the Tiguan (after the 5-seater and 7-seat Allspace) and the 3rd “X model” in Volkswagen’s line-up; it will effectively sit in between the smaller Tayron X and larger Teramont X.
The newcomer's profile is very distinctive, but will Volkswagen faithful warm to attention-grabbing the coupe-SUV packaging?
The Tiguan X, which shares its 2 791 mm wheelbase with its Allspace sibling (the former #CarsAwards – powered by WesBank category winner, which was recently discontinued in the local market), will be exclusive to China, although several sites suggest that it could be sold globally later. According to the figures published by Car News China, the newcomer is 63 mm longer and marginally wider (by 20 mm) than the Allspace variant, but its striking sloping, coupé-like roofline is notably 37 mm lower.
The front-end styling takes cues from the updated Tiguan, with more distinctive headlights and a sporty, elaborately-detailed bumper, but when viewed from the side, the differences become much more apparent: the A-pillar is less steeply-raked and the side-glass area tapers elegantly to the rear, where it ends in a triangular rear quarter light.
Note the new-generation VW badge on the tailgate and the subtle trim above the top edges of the Tiguan X's tail lights.
The Tiguan X’s rear end, meanwhile, is the most eye-catching and, arguably, the most divisive aspect of the design. A subtle spoiler lip bisects the tailgate and the full-width lighting element comprises 3-pointed accents in the rear-light clusters. The chunky bumper, for its part, features a bold reflector strip and trapezoidal (faux) exhaust outlets.
As for as Volkswagen SA's compact family car line-up is concerned for the immediate future, the next addition will be the T-Roc, which will arrive shortly to slot in between the (recently expanded) T-Cross and the 5-seat Tiguan ranges. Could there be room for a Tiguan X in a market where its cousin, the evocatively styled Audi Q3 Sportback is already offered? Well, the closely-related Audi Q2 and T-Roc will both be sold in Mzansi, plus we'd think there'd be plenty of interest in an R version of the Tiguan X, not so?