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2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R spotted, sounds like 2.5 TFSI 5CYL (video)

The highly anticipated Volkswagen Tiguan R has been spotted again in prototype form, sporting a distinct turbo soundtrack reminiscent of a five-cylinder engine. Could it receive the 2.5 TFSI from the Audi RS 3 and TT RS?

We haven’t heard news of the performance Tiguan, dubbed the ‘Tiguan R’, for a while now. But it seems Volkswagen is back into testing with this mostly camouflage-free prototype recently spotted at the Nurburgring in Germany.

The super SUV looks like it’s dressed in the optional R-Line package, however, a closer look reveals bigger brakes and wheels, a unique front bumper that uses slightly more aggressive lower intakes, and a decidedly sporty rear end complete with a neat diffuser underneath and big twin exhausts.

By the sound of it, the Tiguan R might not get the 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder turbo found in the Golf R, as we all initially suspected. Instead, it might get the 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder from vehicles such as the Audi RS 3 and Audi TT RS. In those, the latest unit develops an eye-watering 294kW and 480Nm.

With this unit the Tiguan R could become the quickest and gnarliest SUV in the class, discounting the more premium rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG GLA and Audi RS Q3. Although the 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds in the case of the Audi RS 3 with the 2.5 would likely be a stretch, we’d expect a time of under 5.0 seconds nonetheless.

At this stage nothing has been confirmed by Volkswagen, including the existence of the Tiguan R to being with. There is a chance Volkswagen has tweaked the exhaust of the 2.0 unit so much that it now sounds like a five-cylinder. Click play below and tell us what you think. Does it sound like a five or four to you?

Given the lack of disguise Volkswagen will probably unveil the SUV in full at the Frankfurt motor show in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.