Volkswagen's recently announced T-Roc R and 421hp V8 Touareg look set to be joined by yet another potent SUV as the German manufacturer's assault on the segment continues apace. That's if these latest spy shots are to be believed, at least, which seem to show a near production-ready Tiguan R testing on public roads.
When approached for comment, VW was coy about the speculation, refusing to even be drawn on whether or not the car shown was a genuine test mule. We'd wager it is, however, with the Golf R-style quad exhausts seeming to support our snapper's belief that the Tiguan in question was sporting the same 2.0-litre EA888 engine as is found in the big-selling hot hatch.
The same power plant is also utilised in the upcoming T-Roc R, of course. There it produces 300hp, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG 'box for 0-62mph in less than five seconds and a 155mph top speed. In the bigger, heavier Tiguan, however, it's likely that the motor would be wrung out further still, producing a figure equal to or even greater than the 310hp found in the Golf R.
Another option mooted is the 2.5-litre five-cylinder unit found in Audi's RS3. It produces 400hp in that application, enough to give the Tiguan R a seriously healthy turn of pace, and to differentiate it from the T-Roc R in a more decisive manner. That, unfortunately, seems to be a less likely scenario than the repurposing of the already-ubiquitous EA888, though.
Whatever the truth, we won't have long to wait to find out. Having recently added a 230hp GTI-engined model to the Tiguan range, VW is now reportedly keen to rapidly expand its R offering, seeking to gain an advantage over rivals from within the Group and further afield as the demand for hot SUVs continues to grow.