Tiguan Klassisch? Old Model to Stay as Volkswagen Scrambles to Flesh Out SUV Offerings

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
tiguan klassisch old model to stay as volkswagen scrambles to flesh out suv

You’ll have a choice of Tiguans after the newly enlarged 2018 model goes on sale. As it desperately seeks ways of diversifying its utility vehicle lineup in the U.S., Volkswagen will have the old compact crossover soldier alongside its updated, three-row successor.

The company has listed SUVs as the central pillar of its new American product strategy, but coming up with new models isn’t easy for a car-centric company that’s low on cash. Satisfying the public’s seemingly insatiable demand for mobile cargo space requires a solid plan, and VW thinks it has one.

At last week’s Geneva Motor Show, VW North American Region CEO Hinrich Woebcken laid out the next steps. Diesels are out, but that’s not news — Woebcken said last fall that he saw no future for the technology in America. The brand’s four and six-cylinder gas engines will have to carry the utility burden.

“We’re currently at 12% and the industry is nearly 60% light trucks and SUVs, so we are severely underrepresented,” he told reporters.

The first page of VW’s plan involves keeping the smallish current-generation Tiguan around as an entry-level crossover. Given that its seven-seat successor has grown nearly 11 inches in wheelbase, the two models won’t exactly trip over each other’s toes. A price cut — something VW hasn’t mentioned — would increase the gap.

While the premium Touareg will remain in the stable, demand calls for another large crossover. The automaker might produce a new CUV from the Atlas’ platform, Woebcken said. Last year, Matthias Erb, chief engineering officer for VW in North America, mentioned that a five-seat version of the Atlas could help the model cover more ground.

“It’s possible that the Atlas could sport two wheelbase lengths in the future,” he claimed. Woebcken’s remarks imply VW is proposing an entirely new model, in addition to a possible short-wheelbase Atlas.

One thing VW won’t do is go the Honda route. There’s no enthusiasm in Wolfsburg to offer a unibody Ridgeline fighter, Woebcken said.

Volume is key, but the company still needs a product that links to memories of a happier past. Because of this, the endangered Beetle won’t see an execution. The world needs smiles, it seems.

“This is typical with emotional products that peak early and then wind down. It is an emotional car, not a real family car so the numbers are limited,” Woebcken said. “But there still is a huge community out there that still loves the car. We’re going to continue bringing out special editions to keep that product fresh.”

[Source: Wards Auto] [Image: Volkswagen]

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  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Mar 14, 2017

    I saw a Tiguan today for the first time in a long time. Fittingly, it was in Chattanooga, although its not built there to my knowledge, just because its home to VW's only U.S. plant. Saw the Hyundai plant in Alabama (from the freeway) today as well. (I didn't see the VW plant, only the "Volkswagen" sign on the freeway for the exit, and I did know beforehand it was in/near Chattanooga).

  • El scotto El scotto on Mar 14, 2017

    American's do love their American built SUVs/CUVs. VW/Audi's SUV/CUV market share will be as large as that slice of pie your anorexic cousin eats. GM and Ford will take most of the SUV/CUV pie.

  • MaintenanceCosts This is now our fourth 20th Anniversary GTI, and the third of those four that had major structural modifications for purely aesthetic reasons. I didn't picture Tim as the type to want to join the STANCE YO crowd, but here we are?
  • JMII This is why I don't watch NASCAR, it just a crash fest. Normally due the nature of open-wheel cars you don't see such risky behavior during Indy car events. You can't trade paint and bump draft with an Indy car. I thought it was a sad ending for a 500. While everyone wants a green flag finish at some point (3 laps? 5 laps?) red flagging it is just tempting people too much like a reset button in a game.The overall problem is the 500 is not a "normal" race. Many one-off competitors enter it and for almost every driver they are willing to throw away the entire season championship just to win the "500". It sure pays way more then winning the championship. This would be like making a regular season NFL game worth more then the Super Bowl. This encourages risky behavior.I am not sure what the fix is, but Indy's restart procedures have been a mess for years. If I was in charge the rule would be pit speed limiter until the green flag drops at a certain place on the track - like NASCARs restart "zone". Currently the leader can pace the field however they wish and accelerate whenever they choose. This leads to multiple false and jumped starts with no penalty for the behavior. Officals rarely wave off such restarts, but that did happened once on Sunday so they tried to make driver behave. The situation almost didn't happen as there were two strategies in the end with some conserving fuel and running old tires, driving slower with others racing ahead. However the last caution put everyone on even terms so nobody had advantage. It always gets crazy in the last few laps but bunching up the field with a yellow or red flag is just asking for trouble.
  • Tim Healey Lol it's simply that VWVortex is fertile ground for interesting used cars!
  • Jalop1991 I say, install gun racks.Let the games begin!
  • EBFlex For those keeping track, Ford is up to 24 recalls this year and is still leading the industry. But hey, they just build some Super Dutys that are error free. Ford even sent out a self congratulatory press release saying they built Super Duty’s with zero defects. What an accomplishment!