Volkswagen has taken the wraps off its latest concept vehicle at the São Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil. Built around the Volkswagen Group’s New Small Family (NSF) platform used on the Volkswagen up!, the Taigun is a compact SUV concept vehicle styled after its bigger brothers, the Tiguan and Touareg. VW plans to gauge public reaction to the Taigun before making a decision on whether to put the vehicle into production.
The four-seat Taigun is powered by a new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing 108 hp (110 PS/81 kW) at 5,000 rpm with 175 Nm (129 lbs ft) of torque developed through a six-speed manual gearbox. Based on the latest EA211 series, the engine features direct fuel injection and turbocharging to return a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.7 liters per 100 km (60.1 mpg), while taking the 985 kg (2,171.5 lb) vehicle from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 186 km/h (115 mph).
Despite compact exterior measurements of 3.86 m (12.66 ft) long and 1.73 m (5.67 ft) wide, VW says the Taigun’s 2.47 m (8.1 ft) wheelbase contributes to a deceptively roomy interior that includes 1,036 mm (40.78 in) of headroom in the front and 980 mm (38.58 in) in the rear. There’s also a 280-liter (73.9 US gal) loadspace in the rear that increases to 987 liters (260.7 US gal) when the rear seats are folded down.
VW says the Taigun features 17-inch alloys with short overhangs (708 mm (27.9 in) at the front and 681 mm (26.8 in) at the rear) and plenty of ground clearance along with a metal underbody protection panel to deal with "rough surfaces," but is designed for urban environments, with a high driving position to provide good vision in traffic. And although VW's press release suggests the vehicle can be taken off road, the NSF platform on which it is based currently only supports front-wheel drive vehicles.
The company says it has also kept the interior controls to a minimum, as evidenced by front air nozzles that not only control the direction of air flow, but include dials to control blower speed and temperature, with the settings displayed on the nozzle itself. The central infotainment system, which can be paired with a smartphone, is positioned below the auxiliary instrument gauges displaying oil pressure, coolant temperature and turbo charge pressure.