Unless this is a tuner's car, which doesn't seem like it, we could be looking at the first sign of a full-blown R version for the compact crossover.

Now in its second generation, the Tiguan has already been blessed with Golf GTI power: a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 220 hp (162 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm). It’s enough muscle to grant the sporty crossover with a sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill in a decent six and a half seconds before maxing out at 136 mph (220 kph). Should you want an even quicker gasoline model, the attached spy video from the Nürburgring might indicate there’s going to be a flagship R version at some point in the future.

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

The prototype looks pretty much like the top-spec R-Line model pictured above, but at the back it is rocking quad exhaust tips similar to those of the Golf R. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Tiguan will get the R treatment, but it could be a sign VW is preparing a beefier version of its compact crossover. We are not excluding the possibility of this being a tuner’s car, but we are inclined to believe it belongs to the folks from Wolfsburg considering the license plate. Regardless of who owns it, the test drive was giving it the beans on the Nordschleife.

If this is indeed a taste of things to come as far as a new Tiguan range topper, it will likely have the same amount of power as the Golf R. The AWD-only hatch and wagon currently have 300 hp (224 kW) from a 2.0 TSI engine, but the inbound facelift will likely bring a bump in output. If the Tiguan R will be launched, it would only make sense to have the same amount of power as the revised Golf R seeing as how the GTI versions of the two models are a perfect match.

Even if the Tiguan R is on the agenda, we will probably have to wait until at least March 2017 to see it in Geneva, unless VW will decide to introduce the high-performance crossover in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Check out:

Be part of something big