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Hot new Volkswagen Tiguan R could headline updated 2021 line-up

By Tom Fraser, 04 Jul 2020 Car News

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen takes the wraps off its facelifted and updated 2021 Tiguan range to reveal a hot new R variant

Volkswagen has given its Tiguan breadwinner a significant update for the 2021 model year, with a handsome exterior facelift, revised interior looks and a vast technology enhancement for the mid-sized SUV.

The 2021 Tiguan now gets a broader front fascia compared with the pre-facelift car which first went on sale in Australia in 2016. The new look brings more stylised headlights and new VW badging. Less is changed on the rear with updates limited to minor tweaks and relocated badging.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

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Inside the changes continue, mimicking the dash layout found on the incoming Mark 8 Golf with a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 8.0-inch infotainment screen running the company's most recent software.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Other notable changes include a new steering wheel that features touch sensitive buttons, two USB-C ports in the centre console and a touch-sensitive air-conditioning unit. There’s numerous trim changes as well as different upholstery options too. 

The incoming Tiguan will be able to drive itself, though you’ll have to keep your hands on the steering wheel as backup. The new Travel Assist takes over steering, braking and accelerating at speeds up to 210km/h, but a touch capacitive steering wheel will get angry if you don’t lovingly hold it the whole time.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Read next: 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan review

VW also used the occasion to unveil a new performance variant, the Tiguan R. Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder as the Arteon R, the Tiguan R outputs 235kW/420Nm to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission.

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

It looks suitably serious with its lowered ride height, sports bodykit, Akrapovic exhaust and impressive 21-inch wheels, while the interior features part-suede trim, large paddle shifters, aluminium pedals and R-badging. 

Read next: Volkswagen releases entry level Tiguan R-Line

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Local representatives have not confirmed the Tiguan R for Australia but things are looking promising, with the local arm saying they’d love to see it – especially considering the populatity of R vairants Down Under. Cross your fingers – it would be a perfect fit for performance-thirsty Aussies.

Volkswagen Australia will have more information about pricing and when the updated 2021 Tiguan range will arrive closer to launch, though we’d expect in the first half of next year.