Volkswagen advances Taigun SUV concept on road to production
The second iteration of Volkswagen's Taigun compact SUV concept that debuted in New Delhi
Causing headaches for letter-transposing typists familiar with its Tiguan compact crossover, Volkswagen unveiled its Taigun compact SUV concept in Brazil in 2012. Based on subsequent feedback, the automaker has debuted a second iteration of the vehicle at Auto Expo 2014 in New Delhi, describing it as a "near-production concept."
Due to the positive response it says it received at the São Paulo International Motor Show in 2012, Volkswagen hasn't made any major changes to the four-seat concept. The front end still borrows from VW's larger Tiguan and Touareg models and the vehicle still boasts an average fuel consumption of 4.7 L/100 km (60.1 mpg) thanks to a 1.0-liter turbocharged, direct injection (TDI) gasoline-fueled engine putting out 108 hp (81 kW/110 PS) at 5,000 rpm and 175 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm.
So what has changed? Responding to feedback from people not wanting to empty the boot when changing a tire, VW has moved the spare wheel from the floor of the cargo area to the outside of the car. To accommodate this the company has redesigned the vehicle's rear section, with the tailgate holding the spare wheel swinging out via a hinge on the driver's side, while the glass rear screen and integrated roof spoiler now open separately, swinging upwards.
This redesigned rear is presumably part of the reason the concept is 13 kg (28.6 lb) heavier than its previous iteration, tipping the scales at 998 kg (2,200 lb). This apparently hasn't affected the vehicle's 186 km/h (115 mph) top speed or acceleration from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds. The boot space available with the rear bench seat folded down has also increased ever so slightly from 987 L (261 gal) to 996 L (263 gal) and storage compartments have been integrated into the swiveling tailgate.
Volkswagen says it will take feedback from those viewing the concept vehicle in India and incorporate suggestions into the final conception of the production model. There's no word on just exactly when such a production model will rear its head, but it is expected to be targeted at developing markets such as India and Brazil when it does emerge.
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
1) It is nice to see a design that doesn't have a grill from a Freightliner that is meant to intimidate pedestrians.
2) Why that little swept up rear window feature? Put an emphasis on vision with more glass rather than less.
3) The weight of the tire sitting at the very rear is not good. Better back under the floor, where it is both lower and closer to the center of the vehicle. While the particular weight might be minor, if this reflects an overall design philosophy it is not good. Get center of mass down and get weight away from extremities for better handling.
I agree with JGT. But I would go a step further since I haven't had to change a tire on the side of a road since radials were invented. Five cars, 30+ years, not once. Lugging around a heavy spare tire is unnecessary, especially now that we have continuous tire pressure sensors to alert us of a problem and portable tire pumps.
On top of that you have the additional risk of expensive door damage if you back up into a post.
VW needs to take Apple's example and lead.
I have had to change tires before Shish...give me the option to carry it. Had a blow-out last year on fairly new Goodyears. Spare saved me.
As for the vehicle, I like it, but taking bets it NEVER reaches the U.S. shores as a selling vehicle. The nice pickup VW makes would sell here, but they refused. More of the same with this.
My wife & I looked at this vehicle and were remarking on how similar it looks to her 1st generation Honda CRV. She has regretted getting rid of her CRV ever since she traded it in, (coincidentally on a VW). Add the lighter weight, better mileage and newer technology and it's almost precisely what she is presently looking to buy. It figures that when it goes into production it won't be offered in the US, at least not anytime soon.
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