Volkswagen Tiguan

A lighter but a more rigid body-in-white helps the second-generation compact SUV improve ride, handling and efficiency

When a vehicle sells over 2.8 million units in its lifetime the pressure to make the next-generation as successful is enormous and the challenge huge.

But while the sales numbers for the first-generation of Volkswagen’s compact Tiguan SUV are compelling, its successor has been in development for over four years, so engineers have had time to find out where improvements needed to be made, and how to achieve them.

“The first Tiguan was very successful and we wanted to make it even more successful so we focused on three areas: making it more attractive and making the car fully connected,” says Jan Jähnert, part of the technical development team for the second-generation Tiguan.

The third part of the triangle is one that forms the core of every vehicle – efficiency improvements. And Jähnert makes achieving the first two objectives relatively simple.

“We wanted to put a lot of innovations into the vehicle to make it more attractive, so we have things such as the head-up display, and the connectivity is part of the digital attributes, so we have carnet, we have app connect and then also we have security and services,” he says.

Efficiency has been more challenging, but made slightly simpler because this generation vehicle uses VW’s MQB architecture, so while there are few carry over technologies from the previous generation vehicle, parts are shared with other cars in VW’s line-up.

“We introduced the MQB in 2012 with the seventh-generation Golf and with that we are implementing more derivatives so we have many applications. So for us it is an advantage because we can carry over known technologies from other models,” says Jähnert.

So the Tiguan shares components with not only vehicles such as the Golf hatchback, but other vehicles too. “It reduced costs and time to develop the car,” says Jähnert.
The Tiguan has grown compared to the previous generation vehicle, and is now 4,486mm long with a wheelbase of 2,681mm – 60mm and 77mm longer respectively – while 30mm taller at 1,632mm.

The growth has meant engineers have had to spend more time optimising aerodynamics, and the second-generation vehicle has a co-efficient of drag figure of 0.32 compared to its predecessor’s 0.37. This has been achieved through a number of measures – from the aerodynamically shaped body to an optimised underbody concept.

That has helped reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Numbers range from 123g/km CO2 and 4.7 litres/100km in the most efficient 85kW/320Nm four-cylinder diesel unit upwards.

And it’s worth mentioning that as the Tiguan uses the MQB architecture, it should be open to any alternative powertrains VW’s engineers develop for the platform, reducing emissions further.

tags: Volkswagen