315-hp Volkswagen Tiguan R Makes Us Very Jealous

Volkswagen has just launched its most powerful compact SUV to date… for Europe.

Essentially an eighth-gen Golf R in the body of an SUV, the new Tiguan R is a 315-horsepower model that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h.

These numbers are made possible thanks to the latest generation of Volkswagen’s EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which also produces 310 pound-feet of torque from 2,100-5,350 rpm.

Photo: Volkswagen

Said torque is actively transferred to all four wheels by a newly calibrated 4MOTION R-Performance all-wheel drive system that makes the muscular Tiguan even more agile in corners. This system does not just distribute torque between the front and rear axles, but also distributes it variably between the left and right rear wheels. 

The seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission is included, but there’s a new R drive mode activated by a button on the steering wheel for improved responsiveness. The powerful brake system uses 18-inch discs and blue-painted calipers, while the DCC chassis (with adaptively controlled shock absorbers) is lowered by 10 millimetres for increased stability.

Similar to the new Golf R, the Volkswagen Tiguan R visually stands out with unique bumpers in R design, aerodynamic elements in high-gloss black or the vehicle body colour, exterior mirror caps in matt chrome, a unique high-gloss black rear diffuser, black wheel housing extensions, and 20-inch Misano alloy wheels (or optional 21-inch Estoril wheels). The four-branch sports exhaust system can be replaced by a titanium exhaust system from Akrapovič.

Photo: Volkswagen

The interior gets the R treatment, as well. Check out the premium sport seats with integrated head restraints and R logo, customized Digital Cockpit with integrated lap timer, R-specific trim elements in Carbon Grey, stainless steel pedals and illuminated R logo on the aluminum sill plates.

Unfortunately, there are no plans to bring the Volkswagen Tiguan R in North America in the near future—a German response to the upcoming Hyundai Tucson N Line, which is expected to deliver 290 horsepower. Our Tiguan will be updated in 2021 for the 2022 model year, with refreshed styling and a new infotainment system among the highlights. The 184-horsepower turbo engine should be back as the lone powertrain option, however.

Watch: First look at the 2022 Volkswagen Taos

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