Save for the occasional Passat R36, Touareg R50, and the Polo R WRC Street, Volkswagen’s “R” portfolio has mostly been about the Golf R. That’s about to change, aside from the T-Roc R introduced last year and the recently unveiled Touareg R, Wolfsburg’s high-performance portfolio will be further extended with the addition of two models – Tiguan R and Arteon R. Actually, there will also be a third new R model in the Arteon R estate.
The hot new R pair was seen this week by YouTuber Auto Addiction at the Nürburgring where VW is putting the finishing touches on the potent crossover and liftback. The video is mostly about the Tiguan R as the Arteon R only appears for a few seconds, with both camo-free because the prototypes probably weren’t wearing all of the production body panels, meaning there was nothing to hide.
Gallery: Volkswagen Tiguan R additional spy photos
Knowing VW and how it designs its sporty cars, the Tiguan R and Arteon R will only have subtle styling upgrades over the R-Line specification. The real changes will be in terms of hardware as the go-faster models should get beefier brakes, sportier suspension, and chassis optimisations. Needless to say, the main highlight will be underneath the bonnet where the two should offer over 300 bhp.
With rumours implying Audi refused to share its five-cylinder engine with VW for the new Golf R, chances are the two new R models will rely on a VW-developed engine. At the end of 2017, we caught wind of a newly developed turbocharged VR6 with roughly 400 bhp, but we haven’t heard anything about the larger engine ever since.
At that point, Martin Hube, VW’s spokesperson for the midsize and fullsize models, said the VR6-powered Arteon would allow owners to “beat all the Porsche Panameras out of your way!” However, it’s unclear whether this new engine is actually coming or not, and we also don’t know whether the Tiguan in the full-fat R spec will also be blessed with the punchy powertrain.
We should know later this year as the R variants will debut with the mid-cycle facelifts VW has prepared for the Arteon and Tiguan. Both models are also due to gain a plug-in hybrid powertrain, likely bringing along the “GTE” suffix.