Plug-in hybrid plus 4MOTION. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept – which is equipped with a turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine (TSI, 110 kW / 250 Nm) and two electric motors (front 40 kW / 220 Nm, rear 85 kW / 270 Nm) – shows that a plug-in hybrid drive (system power: 165 kW / 225 PS) can confidently supply all four wheels with propulsive force under off-road conditions. The all-wheel drive system – known as 4MOTION at Volkswagen – boosts traction and contributes to active safety on normal roads as well.
Drive system components. The transmission used in the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG) that was specially designed for hybrid use; the electric motor at the front is integrated into the transmission case. Other components of the 4MOTION plug-in hybrid drive, besides the motors and engine, include the lithium-ion high-voltage battery (energy capacity: 12.4 kWh) that can be charged either externally or via the TSI, power electronics for the front motor and a second power electronics module integrated in the electric motor at the rear (it converts the direct current from the battery into alternating current for the electric motors) and a charger.
Drive types – rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. Depending on the driving program and drive modes, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is either driven by the rear wheels or by all four wheels. As a default, the concept car always starts off electrically in the zero-emission E-mode. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the rear electric motor powers the car by itself; now the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a rear-wheel drive car – the TSI and the front electric motor are decoupled from the drivetrain and are shut off to save on energy. However, as soon as the driving situation demands it, or the driver manually activates a related mode, the front electric motor is also engaged in fractions of a second. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is now a zero-emission all-wheel drive vehicle whose electric motors are supplied with energy from a lithium-ion battery. The concept car can cover up to 20 miles before the gasoline engine is needed. In E-mode, the Tiguan has a top speed of 75 mph or 120 km/h.
Electric propshaft. If the battery is no longer sufficiently charged, and the system requests that the electric motor on the rear axle be supplied with electricity (for dynamic handling reasons or in the Offroad program) by the front electric motor and gasoline engine, the TSI is started up and engaged (Hybrid mode). In this case, the front electric motor serves as a generator for the rear electric motor. Since the energy for driving the rear axle flows "by wire" and not mechanically, we speak of an "electric propshaft". In Hybrid mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may automatically use the TSI and/or the electric motors, depending on the energy level of the battery.
Driving programs: Onroad, Snow, Charge, Battery Hold, Offroad. The rotary/push-button switch of the new 4MOTION Active Control unit is located on the center console. The driver can use this control to select one of five driving programs: Onroad (Eco, Sport, Comfort, Normal or Individual), Snow, Charge (battery is charged while driving), Battery Hold (maintains a constant battery charge) and Offroad (Rocks, Sludge & Sand or Gravel). When the Tiguan driver turns the round switch to the left, the on-road programs Onroad, Snow, Charge or Battery Hold can be activated. When the switch is turned to the right, the user can access the Offroad programs. In off-road duty, the 4MOTION Active Control can adapt the assistance systems to the given driving situation within seconds with just one user operation – a further safety benefit. The same applies to the Snow program, which optimizes safety in winter road conditions.
Drive modes: Hybrid, E-Mode, GTE. The E-mode and GTE mode are activated by separate buttons on the center console. When the driver presses the E-mode or GTE-mode button a second time, the car switches back to Hybrid mode. As mentioned, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may operate with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive in Hybrid mode and in E-mode. In the very dynamic GTE mode, the car automatically switches to all-wheel drive. The GTE mode is a USP of all Volkswagen cars with a plug-in hybrid drive. The transmission, accelerator pedal and steering characteristics are made noticeably more dynamic, and the TSI engine's tuning is also more performance oriented. In addition, the turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engine and the electric motors work together in the GTE mode and in kickdown/boosting. This makes the full system power of 165 kW / 225 PS available – and in this case the Tiguan GTE Active Concept, with its top speed of 120 mph / 193 km/h, accelerates to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Depending on the given driving situation, the SUV may use the TSI by itself or switch over to the additional "Coasting" or "Regenerative braking" hybrid modes.
- Coasting function. As soon as drivers take their foot off the accelerator pedal, the engine and all motors are shut down and disengaged from the drivetrain, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is known as "Coasting". No emissions are generated here either.
- Regenerative braking. When drivers take their foot off the accelerator pedal or brake when the battery is insufficiently charged, both electric motors work as generators and feed the energy generated during braking into the lithium-ion battery. In this case, too, the TSI is shut off and disengaged.
- Driving with the TSI. When the gasoline engine alone is powering the vehicle, the concept car is a front-wheel drive vehicle only. Here, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is very fuel efficient as well, thanks to the efficient technology of the turbocharged direct-injection engine that has a displacement of just 1.4 liters.