Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept is Prelude to Hybrid-Powered 2nd-Gen All-Wheel Drive Crossover [Photo Gallery]

The second generation of Volkswagen’s affordable compact crossover SUV is set to arrive to the U.S. market in 2017. With the unveiling of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen demonstrates the potential capabilities of plug-in hybrid systems and the advanced features we can expect in the near future.

VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Off-road performance and all-weather capability is enhanced with a new 4MOTION Active Control drive system. As the first SUV to use VW’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept boasts a plug-in hybrid system that has a gasoline engine, two electric motors, and an all-electric range of 20 miles. The direct-injection TSI gasoline engine is turbocharged and produces 148 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. One electric motor driving the front wheels is good for 54 horsepower; the second electric motor attached to the rear axle makes 114 horsepower. Total system power is 221 horsepower.

Under normal driving conditions, power is sent to the rear wheels. If there is a loss of traction detected, the front wheels are engaged within a fraction of a second. Four-wheel drive can also be activated manually when the driver selects 4MOTION Active Control or when GTE-mode is selected. A 6-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission, designed specifically for hybrid powertrain, holds the front electric motor.

VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept

By default, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept always starts off in zero-emissions E-mode. A 12.4 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged externally or recharged on-the-go by the gasoline engine. Top speed when driven in E-mode is 70 mph. Total driving range based on battery capacity and 16.9 gallon fuel tank is 580 miles, which means a trip from San Francisco to San Diego is easily accomplished without stopping to refuel or recharge.

The 5-seater concept, based on the fully redesigned second-generation Tiguan, has a 105.6-inch wheelbase (3.1 inches longer than current generation Tiguan) and an option to seat seven passengers. The interior is designed to match the all-terrain theme of the exterior. The brushed, dark aluminum, “Dragon Red” strips that frame the air vents, and “Black Night” chrome accents carry over from the outside. The “Rhodium Grey” and “Dark Graphite” leather upholstered seats and panels have a three dimensional pattern.

VW Tiguan GTE Active Concept

The visually dominant technology inside the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is the digital Active Info Display (in front of the driver) and the newly developed, next-generation modular infotainment system (MIB). Directly beneath its large 9.2-inch touchscreen—which can also be operated by gesture control—is the center console that houses the climate controls. All of the controls, even for the seat heaters, are designed as touch sliders. The center console itself is dominated by the high position of the gear shifter with an array of control buttons arranged around it, including the multifunction switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control.

The infotainment system features VW’s Car-Net App-Connect, which has three different interfaces for connecting your smartphone apps using MirrorLink, Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. This enables users to use selected apps that installed on their smartphone and familiar to use.

The 2015 VW Tiguan is a German Crossover that can go off-road…or can it. In this TFLcar review Nathan finds out just how off-road worthy the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan is when the snow starts to melt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.