The SUV segment, ever so popular in India, has never been properly tapped by the world’s largest car-maker Volkswagen. Earlier, it unsuccessfully sold the over Rs 60 lakh luxury SUV Touareg in India (2008-13). But next month, the company will re-enter the SUV space with a product that, it believes, is right for the Indian market. First showcased at the Auto Expo 2016 in Greater Noida near Delhi, the Tiguan is a mid-size SUV that will compete with Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the upcoming Skoda Kodiaq. Volkswagen has already started production at its Aurangabad, Maharashtra, plant.
“The Tiguan will be our premium SUV offering for India and will cater to the unceasing demand in the segment. Now, our customers will have an extended portfolio—ranging from hatchback cars to executive sedans to even an SUV,” the company earlier said in a statement. The Tiguan appears to borrow much of its design from the executive sedan Passat and the Golf hatchback car.
It is built on Volkswagen’s MQB platform—it stands for Modularer Querbaukasten, translated from German in English to Modular Transversal Toolkit. The platform underpins a wide range of cars from the mini class to the full-size SUV class, and allows Volkswagen to assemble any of its cars based on this platform across all of its MQB-ready factories, thus saving production costs and leading to quicker turnaround time for new vehicles.
The name Tiguan is a blend of German language words Tiger (“tiger” in English) and Leguan (“Iguana” in English). While globally the Tiguan is available in a range of engine specifications, the Indian model will be powered by the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine mated to the company’s seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, offering a blend of performance, efficiency and luxury. The success of the Tiguan will be critical for Volkswagen in India. In 2015, the German company’s American operations were hit by one of the biggest emission scandals in the global automotive history and the company had to pay a hefty $22 billion in fines and compensation. The expected ex-showroom price of the Tiguan is Rs 30 lakh.