Volkswagen has opened order books for the Tiguan R, the latest and most powerful variant of its updated Tiguan SUV, with prices starting from £45,915.
The range-topping Tiguan R joins the larger Touareg R as part of the performance division’s rapidly expanding line-up. It uses the fourth-generation EA888 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine found in the Golf R, which produces 316bhp and takes it from 0-62mph in a claimed 4.9sec, then on to a top speed of 155mph.
As usual, this four-cylinder unit is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, four-wheel drive and VW's Dynamic Chassis Control system.
The Tiguan R also benefits from a similar torque-vectoring function in its four-wheel drive system as the Arteon R. This can vary drive between the front and rear axles as well as the left and right rear wheels.
UK cars will ride on 21in alloy wheels and sit 10mm lower than any other Tiguan.
Prices for the regular version of the Ford Kuga rival start from £24,915. The entry-level car is equipped with a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 128bhp, a six-speed manual gearbox and a raft of standard equipment including 17in alloy wheels, LED headlights and a suite of driver assistance functions. The 1.5-litre engine is capable of between 37.2mpg and 44.8mpg, and emits 143-159g/km of CO2.
Prices climb to £26,915 for Life trim, which is expected to be the best-selling variant and is available additionally with a 148bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine and a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Life also brings larger 18in wheels, rear privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and road sign recognition.
The updated Tiguan has two range-topping trims in its standard form: Elegance at £32,430 and R Line from £32,730, each of which is available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines and equipped with the automatic gearbox as standard.
Elegance cars are marked out by 19in alloy wheels, silver roof rails, chrome window trim and interior upgrades including ambient lighting, bespoke trim elements and the most advanced version of Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit infotainment system. Performance-inspired R Line cars take styling cues from the full-fat Tiguan R, arriving later this year, with lowered suspension, 20in Misano alloy wheels, a sports steering wheel and stainless steel pedals.
The Tiguan is Europe’s favourite SUV, with more than six million examples having been sold since it came out in 2007. The second-generation model was launched in 2016, and this is the first major upgrade it has received.