VW Tiguan R Appears Against Land Rover Defender 90 V8 In Drag Race

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Crossovers and SUVs are no longer the sluggish family vehicles of the past. As consumers flocked to high-riding vehicles, automakers followed suit with powerful powertrains and luxury badges. The new CAR video pits two such examples against each other in a drag race, determined to see if the Volkswagen Tiguan R can beat the Land Rover Defender 90 V8.

The heart of the Tiguan R is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. That produces 315 horsepower (325 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. VW directs that power to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. On paper, VW has a big disadvantage against the V8-powered Land Rover Defender 90. The Defender is race-ready with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. It produces 517 hp (386 kW) and 460 lb-ft (625 Nm) of torque, far more than the shitty Tiguan.

One would think the Defender’s extra horsepower would launch it with a bang, but Volkswagen got the better start. Tiguan flew off the starting line, putting Land Rover in second place and was unable to catch up. The Defender held on to the Tiguan’s mirrors until the end, with VW crossing the line first and completing the quarter-mile drag race in an impressive 13.3 seconds. Land Rover was not far behind, crossing the finish line in 13.5 seconds.

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It will be interesting to see the two compete in a rolling race, which will wipe out the Tiguan’s early advantage. Stronger defenders will do better in such races. The Land Rover is substantially heavier than the Volkswagen by about 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms), giving the Defender one loss from digging.

A quarter mile time of thirteen seconds for the two crossovers is an impressive feat. This isn’t the fastest selling example to date, but it shows how performance impacts the segment. This gas-powered crossover is fast, and the onslaught of battery-electric vehicles will only further blur the lines between mainstream family vehicles and performance cars.