VW backs high-powered petrols with new Tiguan R

  • Hot Tiguan boasts 320hp
  • 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds
  • VW going after petrol buyers

Volkswagen is backing high-powered petrol engines with its latest model – the Volkswagen Tiguan R. The R is the first standalone performance version in the SUV’s 13-year history and is available to order now.

Prices start from £45,915, while power is supplied by a 320hp 2.0-litre petrol engine and four-wheel drive. The industry standard 0-62mph time is dealt with in 4.9 seconds and it’s only available with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

A VW spokesperson told Parkers: ‘It’s worth noting that Volkswagen is looking to grow the R brand in general, the addition of a Tiguan follows naturally on from the T-Roc, which followed the Golf – with more to follow from the Arteon and Touareg. The R brand is very popular in the UK particularly.’

Why has it taken VW 13 years to make a performance variant?

The Tiguan is a big deal. It’s the best-selling SUV for the company globally – so no engine and trim level choices are taken light-heartedly.

VW Tiguan R side

Andrew Savvas, managing director at Volkswagen UK, said: ‘The arrival of the R goes one step further to demonstrate the versatility of the Tiguan range, only a week after two new punchy petrol variants were added to the line-up. With a range of talents like this, it’s little wonder that the Tiguan was the best-selling Volkswagen SUV across the globe last year.’


As well as that brawny petrol engine capable of 155mph, there’s new torque vectoring tech for the four-wheel drive system. This can send power to different wheels depending on situations. For instance, it can send 100% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. Whether you’ll notice this on the school run remains to be seen.

What will be more noticeable is the use of Volkswagen’s adaptive chassis control. This system adapts the suspension via electronically controlled dampers and steering. This means at the touch of a button you can make the ride softer or harder. The Tiguan R’s system has been adapted for ‘optimum driving dynamics’. So it’s pretty hard, then. The Tiguan R will sit 10mm lower than any other Tiguan though, giving it much needed street cred.

Anything else new?

On the outside are 21-inch wheels, and inside those you’ll find 18-inch brakes with blue-painted callipers.

Quad tailpipes too. Plus, the option of an Akrapovič exhaust that will be very loud.

A unique R body kit incorporates sportier front and rear bumpers, with a black rear diffuser adding to the SUV’s look.

VW Tiguan R interior

Inside the Tiguan R’s seats are finished in a blue-black ‘Sardegna’ cloth while there’s a heated R steering wheel, and an ‘R’ button. This feature enables access to the model’s seven drive modes without the need to take hands off the wheel. The steering column features paddle shifters to change gear with.

What this means for you

Sticking a 320hp petrol engine in Volkswagen’s best-selling SUV is a sure-fire way of backing petrol from the company that seems so keen to shout about its green credentials with the likes of the new Volkswagen ID.3.

VW has also recently added two petrol engines to the Tiguan range – both 2.0-litres, with one making 187hp and the other putting out 241hp.

This means if you’re opposed to electrically-driven cars, VW looks like it’ll keep you in powerful petrol engines until the 2030 petrol and diesel ban.

Further reading

>> Our full VW Tiguan review

>> The best SUVs on sale

>> Find out how much your car is worth with Parkers

>> All of the 0% car finance deals

For all the latest advice, news and finance deals, sign up to the Parkers newsletter here.

VW Tiguan R rear