It’s been a long time coming, but the Tiguan R is here at last. Well, at least in Europe for the time being as Volkswagen’s North American division is still pondering whether it should bring the performance crossover to the United States. At its heart is a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine shared with a couple of other forbidden fruits, the Arteon R and Arteon R Shooting Brake. The same 2.0 TSI will also power the upcoming Golf R coming to the US and Golf R Estate we’re sadly not going to get.
It makes a healthy 316 horsepower and 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters) of torque, good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in 4.9 seconds. Not too shabby for a vehicle that weighs 1,746 kilograms (3,849 pounds), right? As a matter of fact, actual performance is even better when you factor in this real-life test shaved off a tenth of a second from the official sprint time.
Gallery: 2021 VW Tiguan facelift
Not only that, but the Tiguan R was put through its paces on a damp road, which surely had a negative impact on its capabilities off the line. The 4Motion all-wheel drive and launch control minimized the performance loss, allowing the speedy crossover to achieve a sub-five-second time. The folks over at Automann didn’t stop there, continuing to press the accelerator pedal to record a 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) in 18.9 seconds.
Another highlight of the Tiguan R is an evolution of the AWD system with a torque-vectoring function that can send 100 percent of the torque to the outside wheel. The lesser versions of the lineup can send only half of that, meaning the R has better balance and cornering. Factor in the stiffer suspension setup and variable steering, it becomes a hot hatch on stilts.
The Tiguan R joins VW’s ever-growing R lineup, which aside from two Golf Rs and two Arteon R models, it also includes the T-Roc R and the Touareg R – yet two additional models VoA isn't selling. The latter is perhaps the most interesting of the bunch in terms of powertrain, packing a plug-in hybrid V6 with a combined output of 456 hp and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft).