Volkswagen Tiguan R hot SUV not happening

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A Volkswagen Tiguan R, using the Golf R’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system with Haldex clutch and 206kW/380Nm (in Australian tune) 2.0-litre turbo engine, is a bridge too far.

The new-generation Volkswagen Tiguan, which we are driving this week in Berlin, will be available globally with the Golf GTI (and Skoda Octavia RS’) 162kW/350Nm turbo engine and a 4Motion AWD system. Think of it as a GTI on stilts costing around $50,000.

This model will come to Australia when the range launches in September, and will be offered with the brand’s signature R-Line styling package.

But we’re greedy. The obvious question is when we might get a full-fat Tiguan R. However, after speaking to several Volkswagen product experts based in the Wolfsburg R and D hub this week, it’s clear that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

One insider admitted the company had looked into it, but deemed it unsuitable.

This means the 162TSI will be the global petrol performance leader for the new Tiguan. Globally, the model will be available with a BiTurbo diesel engine (also used overseas in the Passat) making an impressive 176kW/500Nm. But to add salt to our collective wound, it won’t come to Australia.

Volkswagen says the cost of developing a cooling system for hot climates such as ours — it detunes some of its engines already — cannot be recouped by the 176TDI’s projected sales. Thus, no dice for our market, despite the strength of performance car sales.

Volkswagen Group Australia product marketing manager Jeff Shafer told us this week that the company’s local arm would “love” to have the 176TDI were it available, too.

Keep your eyes peeled later this week for our first 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan review.