VW Tiguan R With Audi RS3 2.5-Liter Swap Rides on Bentley Wheels

Here in America, there is only one Volkswagen R, the Golf. However, the German automaker has a whole portfolio of R cars it developed in recent years for the global market. This includes the first-ever Tiguan R, which is based on the shorter European chassis and comes with the newer Mk8 TSI motor.

We are talking about the 320 PS 2.0 TSI, complete with the same 7-speed DSG and available with the same new rear differential as the 8th-gen Golf R. For most people, that’s enough. In fact, due to the pandemic, the Tiguan R is one of the rarest and most expensive Volkswagens ever made.

But there’s always room for improvement. When it comes to cars based on the MQB chassis, some people are always going to be tempted to swap in a 2.5 TFSI. Audi’s legendary 5-cylinder engine is known for its unique exhaust sound and potent 400-hp sting. Normally found in the RS3 and RS Q3, this performance engine can be swapped into a variety of other cars.

Volkswagen did want to make a Tiguan with the 2.5 TFSI. Prototypes were built but it wasn’t production-approved. Rumors said Audi didn’t want to give up its famous engine, although that’s ridiculous considering it’s on the Cupra Formentor VZ5. Anyway, a group of VW fanatics in South Africa did what VW didn’t and swapped a Tiguan R with an Audi RS3 engine.

No, not a Tiguan; a Tiguan R, which as I said is a very expensive and rare car. So a brand new performance SUV was stripped of its 4-cylinder engine in favor of a 5-cylinder and gained 80 hp. No big deal, right? Well, it’s actually a huge deal for the VW community.

In theory, the Tiguan R’s DNFG engine and Audi’s DNW 2.5-liter are compatible for a swap, both being GPF-equipped and running similar ECUs. Apparently, the engine came out of an RS3 belonging to the Tiguan owner’s wife. It’s obviously also got a tune, based on all the pops and whistles.

To top it all off, the Tiguan R has been re-styled with a complete body kit consisting of skirts and spoilers. The cherry on the bottom of the cake is a set of Bentley wheels pushed deeper into the body using air suspension.

All this was done by South African tuner Bodyline just in time for 2023’s VW Campfest, which is like Worthersee… when Worthersee was cool.



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