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  • Writer's pictureIshaan Bharadwaj

Should VW consider the 320PS Tiguan R for India?

2021 marks the first time in its 13-year history that the Tiguan, the best-selling SUV across the Volkswagen brand and Volkswagen Group globally, has been given a stand-alone performance model: the Volkswagen Tiguan R. This athletic SUV, which produces 320 PS and is bestowed with Volkswagen's latest 4MOTION R-Performance Torque Vectoring system, is now available to order for customers in the European countries, priced from around INR 46 lakh before taxes.

The Tiguan R is powered by Volkswagen's highly-regarded EA888 evo4 four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. In this setup it produces 316 bhp and 420 Nm of torque, enabling 0 to 100 kmph acceleration of 4.9 seconds and a limited top speed (where permitted) of 250 kmph. The VW Tiguan R matches its T-Roc R (not the one sold in India) stablemate in these figures, and is just two-tenths of a second behind the Golf R on the 0 to 100 kmph sprint, proving the versatility and flexibility of the R brand.

The R's winning formula of a sophisticated 7-speed DSG transmission, muscular petrol engine and 4MOTION four-wheel drive are bolstered by the new R-Performance Torque Vectoring system, which distributes power to all four wheels. The system not only manages this between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels. Up to 100% of available torque can be directed to the rear wheel on the outside of a bend, which leads to noticeably more agile handling and eliminates understeer.

This new R model features adaptive chassis control (DCC) as standard, and rides 10 mm lower than any other Tiguan. DCC always provides the highest level of driving comfort and optimum driving dynamics. In addition, the characteristics of the shock absorbers have been adapted individually to the Volkswagen Tiguan R.

Sitting on standard-fit 21-inch 'Estoril' wheels, the Tiguan R decelerates with the same convincing force as it accelerates, thanks to an 18-inch performance braking system, identifiable by its blue-painted callipers with R-logo on the front units. Hallmark R quad tailpipes are a hint at the model's power, while the door mirror caps are finished in matt chrome - another key identifier of the revered R brand. An assertive and unique R body kit incorporates sportier front and rear bumpers, with a black rear diffuser adding to the SUV's purposeful aesthetic.

Among the items optionally available for the Volkswagen Tiguan R is an Akrapovi performance titanium exhaust system, which is lighter in weight than the standard set-up and augments the sound the high-performance engine makes.

As in the Golf R, the Volkswagen Tiguan R's sports seats are finished in a blue-black 'Sardegna' cloth with ArtVelours outer areas, while the driver has new levels of interaction with the bespoke, heated R steering wheel (optional), thanks to a new 'R' button. This feature enables swift access to the model's seven diverse and useful drive modes without the need to take hands off the wheel. The steering column features extended paddle shifters to add to the driver-focus of the Tiguan R's cabin.

The Volkswagen Tiguan R's standard equipment list builds upon the already impressive R-Line (sold Internationally) trim and includes Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC); IQ.Light matrix LED headlights; Digital Cockpit Pro with specific R functions; Keyless entry and start; rear view camera; 30-colour ambient lighting; heated steering wheel; heated front seats; and Travel Assist.

With so much boom in the SUV segment and consumers seeking to put their hands on some high performance high rollers should Volkswagen India consider bringing in a few units of the Tiguan R here in the subcontinent? The answer is a definite Yes!

But would they?

Special Thanks to Volkswagen Press UK.

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