NAIAS 2016: First Impressions of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept

For this year’s North American International Auto Show, Volkswagen rolled out their Tiguan GTE Active Concept, which takes the  all-new Tiguan and adds some much needed aggression to appeal directly to the American market.  Additions like contrasting body cladding, a much more rugged roof treatment with integrated auxiliary lighting and BFGoodrich’s legendary All Terrain T/A tires all prove to take the GTE Active Concept to a place normally reserved for Jeeps and Land Rovers.  But the concept was about much more than just looking tough, so let’s get into what makes the Tiguan GTE Active so special.

Range of 580 Miles

Moving towards long-term regulations and goals for fuel efficiency and emissions, the GTE Active Concept’s range of 580 total miles when combining traditional fuel and electric power is downright impressive.  Boasting an estimated 33mpg from its turbocharged and direct-injected TSI engine (displacement wasn’t disclosed) while wearing much higher rolling resistance rubber and a much less aero-friendly roof rack and lighting system, the vehicle proves that environmental regulations don’t have to mean the end of fun.  And to ensure the crossover is capable off-road, the 4Motion system features six Active Control programs- each with their own special purpose.

Rugged by Interior Design

The interior of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept has seen its fair share of updates as well.  Dark aluminum trim panels are used on both the door panels and instrument surround, dark chrome is used on the steering wheel, and “Dragon Red” accents on the air vent surrounds all work to drive home the rugged theme, as does the two-tone seating upholstery.

Next-Level Infotainment

Featuring both a 9.2 inch high-resolution touchscreen and an updated version of Volkswagen’s Active Info Display gauge cluster, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept has a highly customizable display layout.  To put it simply, ten different types of content can be displayed- any thing from Media, to phone and even special instruments for the off-road 4Motion program like an altimeter and compass.

Now, the next logical question is will this concept ever come to production.  To be honest, the chances are better than most.  We’ll already be getting a version of the Tiguan, so the GTE variant is a very real possibility.  Then factor in that the Beetle Dune is quite similar in concept, and will be hitting showrooms in the springs, and you can quickly see that the Active (or something like it) could make its way into showrooms.  And although Volkswagen has yet to officially comment, it’d be nice to see them pit something against Jeeps’s Cherokee Trailhawk.

Check out more images of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept above.