Rumor: Tiguan Facelift to Introduce R Variant

We’ve been seeing spy pics of a hot Tiguan testing since 2017, but with a hot SEAT SUV having launched recently and a facelift coming soon, the rumor mill is churning faster than ever.

The latest reports follow a conversation that Autocar recently had with the head of R GmbH, Jost Capito.

“I can see a place for a Tiguan R,” he told the outlet. “We’ve seen the good things that can be achieved with the T-Roc, but the Tiguan would be a different kind of car. It would have to be more of an everyday model, like the Touareg.”

Better yet, there’s reason to believe that this won’t be another forbidden, European fruit. Speaking to VW Vortex this month, Hein Schafer, Sr VP of product marketing and strategy for the US told us that US wing has been looking at performance SUVs.

“I think already GTI and Golf R are two brands that have definitely done a great halo job for us,” Schafer told us. “We are definitely investigating to try and see if we can try to get that kind of treatment onto one or two of our SUVs.”

While we have no official information to go off, we do have a precedent to look toward. The Cupra Ateca is a hot SUV built by VW’s Spanish subsidiary. As R is to VW, Cupra is to SEAT, and the Ateca is its take on the Tiguan.

Endowed with the VW Group’s trusty 2.0-liter it makes 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s good enough to get it up to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds, which is less than half a second off the Golf R’s time.

It will get back down to 0 in a hurry, too, thanks to available ventilated, 4-piston Brembo brakes.

The regular Tiguan’s facelift, meanwhile, is set to be unveiled this year in Europe. Some reports suggest that it could come as early as the Geneva Motor Show next month.