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New Volkswagen Tiguan 2021 detailed: High-performance R flagship headlines Mazda CX-5 rival's facelift

The Tiguan R is finally here to reset the performance standard for mainstream mid-size SUVs.

Volkswagen has revealed the facelifted version of the second-generation Tiguan, with the mid-size SUV now available with a high-performance R flagship that produces 73kW more power than the previous range-topper.

The Tiguan R comes with lowered suspension, 21-inch alloy wheels and a sports body kit, and shares its 235kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with the recently revealed Arteon R mid-size car.

This unit is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which now comes armed with a torque vectoring system that distributes torque variably between the axles and the rear wheels.

Australian buyers looking to get behind the wheel of the Tiguan R will have to keep their fingers crossed, as Volkswagen’s local arm is yet to confirm its availability, although it has made its strong interest known, labelling the new flagship as “a perfect fit”.

A 180kW eHybrid plug-in hybrid has also been ushered in as part of the Tiguan’s facelift, but Volkswagen Australia has already ruled it out, in keeping with its product strategy. For reference, it has an electric-only driving range of about 50km (WLTP).

  • 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R
  • 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R
  • 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line
  • 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line
  • 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

And according to a company spokesperson, the ‘regular’ Tiguan is still on track to launch next year, with CarsGuide previously told it would arrive around April.

The Tiguan’s facelift is most apparent up front, where the headlights now look similar to that of the eighth-generation Golf small car and can be optioned with Matrix LED bulbs.

Naturally, the grille and bumpers have also been redesigned alongside the alloy wheels and LED tail-lights, while Volkswagen’s new logo features throughout and ‘Tiguan’ lettering is now centrally positioned on the tailgate.

Inside, the touchscreen and digital instrument cluster are now powered by Volkswagen’s latest multimedia system (MIB 3), which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can now take advantage of a 480W Harman/Kardon sound system with 10 speakers.

Notably, the physical climate controls have been replaced by touch-sensitive items, which also feature on the fresh steering wheel, while two USB-C ports have been introduced in the centre stack.

The Tiguan’s suite of advanced driver-assist systems has also been given a lift, with lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality now working in tandem from 0-210km/h, autonomously taking into account changing traffic conditions.

Pricing and full specification for the Mazda CX-5 rival will be released closer to its launch. A similar facelift for its seven-seat Allspace version is also expected in due course.