Photo of Tiguan GTE Active Concept courtesy of Volkswagen.

Photo of Tiguan GTE Active Concept courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen's Tiguan GTE Active Concept features a plug-in hybrid system that uses two electric motors and a gasoline engine, the automaker announced at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

The vehicle is equipped with a turbocharged and direct-injection TSI gasoline engine that produces 148 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque mated to two electric motors. These make 54 hp at the front wheels and 114 hp at the rear. The total system power of 221 hp can supply four wheels with propulsive force under off-road conditions and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system also boosts traction and contributes to active safety on normal pavement.

The vehicle achieves a total driving range of 580 miles with a battery capacity of 12.4 kilowatts per hour and a 16.9-gallon fuel tank, according to the automaker.

The Tiguan GTE Active Concept uses a 6-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission, with the front electric motor being housed inside the casing. Other plug-in hybrid components of the 4MOTION plug-in hybrid drive include a 12.4 kilowatt-per-hour lithium-ion high-voltage battery that can be charged either externally or via the gasoline engine; power electronics for the front motor; a second module at the rear that converts the battery’s DC current into AC for the electric motors; and an on-board charger, according to the automaker.

Depending on the driving mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept can be driven by the front, rear, or by all four wheels. As a default, the concept car always starts off in zero emissions E-mode, according to the automaker. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the rear electric motor powers the car by itself, while the TSI engine and the front electric motor are decoupled from the drivetrain and shut off to save energy. However, as soon as the driving situation demands it, or the driver manually activates a related mode, the front electric motor is engaged. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a zero-emissions all-wheel-drive vehicle that can cover up to 20 miles on battery power alone. In E-mode, the Tiguan has a top speed of 70 mph.

If the battery isn’t sufficiently charged and the system calls for the rear electric motor to be supplied with power for dynamic handling or for the off-road program, the TSI engine is re-started and engaged in Hybrid mode. In this case, the front electric motor serves as a generator for the rear electric motor. In Hybrid mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may automatically use the TSI engine and/or the electric motors, depending on the energy level of the battery.

The concept is also equipped with safety systems such as Front Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian monitoring, an active hood for pedestrian protection, Lane Assist, and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Another highlight of the concept car is its infotainment system which is equipped with a 9.2-inch touchscreen, gesture control, an Active Info Display, and a head-up display, according to the automaker.