Volkswagen is quite serious about its plans to rapidly expand its presence in the utility market. While models like the Atlas and Tiguan are doing a commendable job in there respective segments, a noticeable void exists below the Tiguan, and it has long been unexploited by the German car giant. But with rivals making bold moves into this segment, it appears that VW is finally addressing this issue, with the company releasing a lone teaser image and video of the new model.
We don’t get to see too much, with VW only giving us a glance of a darkened front fascia with the headlights fully illuminated. As a result, it’s hard to determine what exactly the new model will be based on. However, a string of rumors (as well as Volkswagen’s massive global footprint) causes us to focus our attention onto the Tharu. The Tharu is currently only available in China, but it’s roughly in the same size bracket as the mystery model. The Tharu has different styling than the model Volkswagen is teasing, but that could mean Volkswagen is revamping the design to meet the needs of American buyers (as well as our country’s tighter safety standards.)
As for performance, that’s entirely up in the air, with Volkswagen preferring to keep that valuable piece of intel to themselves. In China the Tharu is motivated by either a 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that’s good for 148 horsepower, or a 2.0 liter with the same horsepower figure. Both engines use a seven-speed dual clutch automatic, with the Tharu being available with either front or all-wheel drive. This new model would be at an interesting crossroads in this regard. It could either bring the 1.4 liter turbo stateside, or perhaps debut with all new U.S. exclusive engines.
“We’re excited to share the first glimpse of the newest member of the Volkswagen family,” said Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Scott Keogh. “Great things come in small packages, as Volkswagen has proven throughout the years with its iconic Beetle, Golf and Jetta. This next car will be no exception.”
Look for more information to be gradually revealed in the near future, with the currently unnamed model making its debut later this year. We hope to hear more about what kind of performance it will have, as well as what name it will ultimately have when it makes its big debut.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.