Volkswagen Taigun concept: A Second Look

At times when I receive emails announcing concepts, etc. from car manufacturers, I set them aside for a later review especially if they don't seem to impact the US market. I got this press release from VW last year and really liked the looks of the Taigun, so I saved it for later and later has arrived. With Ford considering the EcoSport for the US and Buick doing well with the Encore, a sub Tiguan sized "cute 'ute" might make sense for the Volkswagen line up. The Taigun Concept was originally shown in Brazil and showcased VW's 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that makes over 100 hp for outstanding fuel efficiency for a compact 'ute. The Taigun features the family SUV look and goes one step further with aggressive fender bulges that give the vehicle a tough look that belies its size. The rear door handles hidden on the C-pillar are very well done (see side pic after the jump). The interior design is right on for this size and class of vehicle. In fact, the Taigun looks almost ready to go, the release hints at production, and rumors have been swirling about smaller and larger crossovers to be added to VW's portfolio (It would also allow the Tiguan to grow a little in size). Let's hope that the Taigun keeps the flavor of this concept if it does in fact hit the roads. More to come. Now about those names...

Source: Volkswagen - Press release and pics (4) after the jump.

Press Release:
World premiere of the Volkswagen SUV concept Taigun São Paulo International Motor Show

Confident, compact and efficient:
World premiere of the Volkswagen SUV concept Taigun in Brazil
Volkswagen shows concept of a future SUV of the A00 class in São Paulo 3.86-metre long Taigun SUV debuts with high-tech turbo engine and sophisticated design

In a world premiere at the 2012 São Paulo International Motor Show (22 October to 04 November), Volkswagen is presenting the concept of a newly developed compact SUV: the Taigun. The all-round vehicle now being presented in São Paulo is a tribute to the Brazilian market – if it were to become a production car, however, the new Volkswagen would not only be offered in South America, but around the world. Technically, the Taigun resembles the very contemporary New Small Family by Volkswagen, which it rounds out in an upward direction.

The concept’s exterior look follows the very concise and clear Volkswagen design DNA that was defined by heads of design Walter de Silva (Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Brand). The new Sport Utility Vehicle makes an extremely sophisticated and powerful appearance. The Taigun is 3,859 mm long, 1,728 mm wide and 1,570 mm tall. Between the front and rear bumpers, the vehicle sports a wheelbase of 2,470 mm, which is large in relation to its exterior length. The results: short overhangs and appealing proportions. In the spacious interior, the concept car shows how Volkswagen imagines a sophisticated, versatile and compact SUV at affordable prices to be.

New high-tech turbo engine concept with 110 PS
The four-seat Taigun is powered by a new 1.0-litre TSI engine (turbocharged, direct injection petrol engine) with 81 kW / 110 PS (from 5,000/min). Its combined fuel consumption is just 4.7 l/100 km (110 g/km CO2). The direct-injection turbocharged engine debuting in the Taigun is also a world premiere; the new engine extends the range of the three-cylinder petrol engines based on the EA211 engine series by adding a configuration with direct fuel injection plus turbocharging technology, which opens a new chapter in downsizing strategy at Volkswagen. The new engine is very fuel-efficient, and it offers high torque at low engine revs (175 Nm from 1,500/min). This makes the three-cylinder TSI an ideal match for the Taigun. The concept vehicle (weight: 985 kg) accelerates to 100 km/h in just 9.2 seconds with the new engine. On the German ‘Autobahns’, which essentially do not have a speed limit, the Taigun would reach a top speed of 186 km/h. The engine is combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox. 

ESC is an effective stabilisation programme
The Taigun, which is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and size 205/50 R17 tyres, is adept at handling off-road terrain thanks to its high engine torque and high ground clearance. Nonetheless, the Volkswagen was clearly designed for the urban environment. Wherever it is used, the SUV utilises powerful disc brakes. Also providing a plus in active safety is the ESC electronic stabilisation programme; it significantly reduces the risk of skidding.

Clean design, powerful and confident

The styling of the concept car, which is painted in “Seaside Blue”, lives up to its sophisticated technological concept. The Taigun  as compact as it is attractive  has an exterior look that is independent, confident and very logical and clean. In a side view, the flared wings catch the eye; their powerful form is homogeneously integrated in the side section and extends into the doors. The front and rear sections of the concept car are visually joined by a precisely sculpted character line beneath the side windows; at the rear, this line transitions into the C-pillars. The independent form of the C-pillars is typical of a Volkswagen. Designers also worked in the rear door handles so that they terminate flush with the body, which is aerodynamically ideal. The entire side profile expresses confidence and safety.

In the lower body area, the rugged side trim panels are appealing; they cover the side sills, wheel arches and lower sections of the bumpers. The vehicle’s short overhangs are advantageous both visually and for space utilisation; in front the overhang is just 708 mm, and at the rear 681 mm. Last but not least, practical roof rails with integrated LED spotlights upgrade the vehicle’s look in side profile.

In front, designers of the Taigun intentionally emulated the Volkswagen Tiguan and Touareg SUVs. Like them, the concept also exhibits lines that are dominated by horizontal design elements. A metal underbody protection panel was designed into the bumpers. Just as in every other perspective, the concept car  with its balanced proportions  is also very powerful and self-confident at its front; this is conveyed by the opulent track width of 1,473 mm (front and rear identical) in relation to the vehicle’s overall width (1,728 mm without mirrors).

The rear of the Taigun was also made to show stylistic similarities to the larger Tiguan and Touareg. The rear lights are visually interconnected by an edge beneath the VW badge; directly under this edge is the vehicle’s licence plate. In general, horizontal lines influence the styling at the rear of the vehicle as well. Like the front end, the concept car has an underbody protection panel at the rear as well. Visually hidden is the two-part construction of the tailgate. The upper section (2/3) down to the lower edge of the rear lights opens upward, while the lower section (1/3) extending to the underbody protection swivels downwards towards the road. It is possible to open the upper part with the rear window separately.

Interior has optimal space utilisation
As on the exterior, the designers developed an look for the interior that reflects, in its clarity, the spirit of the times in our urban world. Those with an affinity for the latest smart phones or tablet computers will also like the interior design, the feel of its surfaces and the layout of controls in the Taigun.

The SUV is a fine example of optimal space utilisation. The tailgate encloses a 280 litre bootspace; when the rear bench seat is folded down, cargo capacity increases to 987 litres. The high seat position is typical of an SUV and is based on the desire of many customers to drive a car with optimal comfort in entry and exit and to have the best possible visibility in traffic. Headroom in front is 1,036 mm, while it is 980 mm in the rear seating area; in addition, the vehicle’s long legroom ensures excellent comfort in the rear seating area. The driver’s workspace can be optimally adjusted for any body height; the steering wheel, for example, can be adjusted in height over an angle of 25 degrees.

The interior designers systematically reduced the number of functions to just the most essential. As a result, operation of all interior functional elements is absolutely intuitive. Furthermore, the clean design, many storage surfaces and exceptionally good space give a very positive feeling of spaciousness. Meanwhile, the youthful colour and material combinations highlight the offroad character of the Taigun. Similarly, the development team designed individual solutions for user controls in the SUV as well. They include dials in the air nozzles on the dashboard, which for the first time can be used to control the temperature and blower speed and read their settings.

The Taigun is also equipped with an infotainment system on the dashboard; it offers interfaces for all commonly used smart phones. To the right of the radio-navigation system is the combination on/off/volume control. Centrally located under the infotainment system and finished in fine aluminium are the hazard warning light switch (middle) and the buttons for rear window heating, defrost function, air conditioning system and exterior lights. Above the radio-navigation system on the dashboard there are three other auxiliary instruments (oil pressure, coolant temperature and charge pressure). Fitting in well with these features is the leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel, which has a sporty flat bottom and fits perfectly in the hands.

A quality that applies to all vehicle concept cars which Volkswagen presents at international motor shows is that they could all be implemented as production vehicles. The prospects for the Taigun being seen at Volkswagen dealers someday are quite high – what is crucial here is the overall response of the public to this concept.

TDI, TSI, DSG and Twincharger are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries.
Features and technical data apply to models offered in Brazil. They may differ in other countries.