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First look: It's Volkswagen Tiguan!

Volkswagen reveals the name for Touareg's little brother, the Tiguan

1 Aug 2006

IT is destined to be the Touareg’s little brother, but already Volkswagen’s new Golf-based SUV, the Tiguan, is winning friends locally.

Volkswagen Group Australia is keen to put the wee SUV on its shopping list.

VGA general manager marketing, Peter Dierks, said if a business case stacked up and the price was right, the small SUV could be added to the local line-up.

VW Europe last week released sketches of the Tiguan, which is due to go on sale in Europe in early 2008 and in other markets soon after.

The Tiguan, originally called the Bedouin, will use Golf-based mechanicals, including a range of turbo-diesels and petrol four and six-cylinder engines, mated to a more upright, chunkier Golf-style body.

However, Mr Dierks said VGA was more immediately focused on relaunching the Touarag line up in October and the arrival of the Crafter light commercial range.

With the arrival of both three and five-door R32s, VGA is also looking at the possibility of adding a three-door GTI to the Golf line up some time next year.

"It is available, and of course we are thinking about it for incremental opportunity," he said.

"But you know if we want to do it we have to find the right price.

"This year we’ve had so many new launches and next year we won’t have that many, so this may be a good time for other GTI versions.

Of more immediate concern was the restructuring of the six-model Touareg SUV line up and pricing.

"We want to restructure the whole Touareg range, the specs and pricing," Mr Dierks said.

Although reasonably happy with sales volumes, Mr Dierks said the range "was a little bit overdone by us".

The dealer network also had to be schooled on selling the large SUV, which starts at $69,900 for the R5 turbo-diesel.

"I think the network was not prepared for such a car," he said.

"It’s over $60,000 so people looking for that type of car want to be treated a little bit differently.

"We are offering more training for sales staff to treat these type of customers differently. It’s not one specific problem but a range of issues with Touareg."GoAuto understands a new 165kW/500Nm 3.0-litre TDI engine will be added to the range but the five-cylinder R5 will continue.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the board of management for VW, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, believes the Tiguan will open up the brand to an even wider audience than the Touareg.

The name Tiguan was developed by Volkswagen marketing along with four other alternatives Nanuk, Namib, Rockton and Samun.

More than 350,000 readers of the AutoBild magazine selected their favourite from the five potential names with a clear preference for Tiguan.

VW gave a glimpse of the Tiguan’s direction at the start of the year by unveiling the off-road design study Concept A.

This year has been a busy one for VGA. Over the past 10 months it has launched the Polo, Jetta, Golf GTI, Passat, Caddy Life and Kombi Beach and last week, the R32.

Apart from Touareg, it is gearing up for the introduction of the Crafter light commercial range, which was launched in Europe in April.

In Europe it offers a choice of three wheelbases, four load compartment lengths, three roof heights, a six-speed manual gearbox and an automated manual and a full range of engines including a 2.5-litre five-cylinder common-rail TDi engine that will be available with 65kW, 80kW, 100kW and 120kW of power depending on the application.

What's coming from Volkswagen:
Touareg 3.0 TDi October
Crafter CV November
Golf GTi Fourth quarter

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