Volkswagen has unveiled its compact 4x4, the Concept Tiguan, at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
New Tiguan Concept is almost production ready
At the same time the German carmaker has announced that the first production models will go on sale by the end of next year. It will probably only arrive in South Africa in early 2008.
The first news of the Tiguan's development came with the debut of Concept A in Berlin earlier this year.
This was followed by the naming of the model in July, the result of a poll of more than 350 000 readers of magazines of the AutoBild group.
This latest development in Los Angeles takes the Tiguan one step closer to production and hints strongly at how the final version could look.
Maintaining the "baby Touareg" appearance of the Concept A, the new concept Tiguan makes a bold styling statement.
At 4.4 metres long, 1.85 m wide and 1.69 m high, it is very similar in size to the Touran compact MPV (4.4 m, 1.8 m, 1.6 m).
The Concept Tiguan's "face" and side profile are immediately recognisable as those of a Volkswagen, and yet they are different from all existing models in the range.
The dark-anodised metallic tone of the front grille contrasts with the body colour, while a grid pattern and two dominant cross fins to the left and right of the Volkswagen roundel complete the look.
At the rear, the lights are integrated into the shoulder section similar to those on the Eos and Passat, while the steeply sloping tailgate extends right down to the bumpers, giving the Tiguan an unmistakably SUV design.
Under the bonnet, the concept car features a completely new type of diesel engine, called BLUETEC.
Developed in partnership with Audi and Mercedes-Benz and presented for the first time at the LA show, BLUETEC employs a modular concept of different systems to reduce emissions significantly.
One of these systems is the NOx storage catalytic converter which cuts nitrogen oxides by up to 90% over current diesel units. This 'Clean TDI' will comply with the strictest emissions standards in the world and is one of the first components of the BLUETEC offensive.