• Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
Look familiar? It should, since the vehicle you see above, which is the latest version of the Volkswagen Taigun Concept, was first seen in October of 2012 at the São Paulo motor show. Sure, there have been a few minor updates, most notable of which is the externally mounted spare wheel and tire, but it's quickly becoming clear what the small 'ute from VW is going to look like when it finally makes it out of the concept stage – in this case being shown at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi – and into production.

VW says global reaction to its Taigun crossover has been "simply overwhelming," but that consumers wished for fast access to the spare wheel without having to empty the boot first. Hence, the new rear section and its driver-side hinge arrangement. Other than that and a new color palette, not much has changed.

Power still comes from a 1.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged three-cylinder engine offering up 108 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. VeeDub says that power is good enough for a 9.2-second run to 62 miles per hour and a top speed of 115 mph. Fuel mileage is a strong suit, coming in at 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers (around 50 miles per gallon on the EU cycle).

We like the idea of a little crossover from VW, but we're not holding our breath for an introduction of the Taigun to the United States. It's much more likely that the German automaker will bestow the US with a much larger three-row crossover to be built alongside the Passat at its plant in Chattanooga, TN. In any case, feel free to read all about the Taigun in its latest conceptual guise down below.
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Auto Expo 2014, New Delhi
Asian premiere in New Delhi: Volkswagen presents the advanced SUV concept Taigun

The Taigun debuts in India with new boot lid and outside-mounted spare wheel
Compact SUV with 110 PS turbo engine and a fuel consumption of no more than 4.7 l/100 km

Wolfsburg / New Delhi, February 2014. At the Auto Expo 2014 (5–11 February) in New Delhi, Volkswagen will present an advanced version of the near-production concept of the Taigun SUV. Compared to the first conceptual design – presented in São Paulo, Brazil – the new sport utility vehicle features a new rear section with outside-mounted spare wheel. And this is exactly the solution our future drivers wished for in the new Taigun.

Background: the popularity of the version of the concept shown in São Paulo was simply overwhelming Nonetheless, Volkswagen took the opportunity to analyse feedback from around the world to adapt the new SUV ideally to customers' wishes. One of these wishes: fast access to the spare wheel without having to empty the boot first. The advanced version of the SUV concept now meets this demand.

Compact dimensions and spacious interior. The Taigun is 3,859 mm long; with mounted spare wheel, it is 3,995 mm; the width of the SUV is 1,728 mm and the height 1,570 mm (with roof rails 1,605 mm). Between the front and rear bumpers, the vehicle sports a wheelbase of 2,470 mm, which is large in relation to its exterior length. Consequence: short overhangs and appealing proportions. Meanwhile, in the spacious interior, the concept car shows how Volkswagen imagines a sophisticated, versatile and compact SUV at affordable prices should be.

Efficient high-tech engine. The four-seat Taigun is powered by a new and fuel-efficient 1.0-litre TSI engine (turbocharged, direct injection petrol engine) with 81 kW / 110 PS (from 5,000/min). Average fuel consumption is just 4.7 l/100km (110 g/km CO2). This enables a range of around 1,000 kilometres (with a fuel tank capacity of 50 litres). The direct-injection turbocharged engine of the Taigun 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, thus opening a new chapter in Volkswagen's downsizing strategy. The engine is very fuel-efficient, and it offers high torque at low engine revs (175 Nm from 1,500/min). The concept vehicle (weight: 998 kg) accelerates to 100 km/h in just 9.2 seconds with the new engine. On the "Autobahns" of the country in which it was developed, namely Germany, 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.

Designed for the urban jungle. 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 which significantly reduces the risk of skidding.

The design – powerful and confident
Clear silhouette. The body of the Taigun – as compact as it is attractive – has been designed with an independent, confident and sporty look. From the side, the flared wings catch the eye; their powerful form is homogeneously integrated with the lines of the silhouette, which are otherwise very calm and clear, and extends into the doors. Defining the design of the silhouette is the slanted surface below the side windows, the so-called character line in the jargon of the designers. Stylistically, this precise character line connects the front and rear sections of the concept; at the rear, it transitions into the C-pillars. The independent form of these C-pillars is typical of a Volkswagen. The designers also worked in the rear door handles so that they sit flush and appear to be a part of the window design. The entire side profile expresses confidence and safety.

Sporty proportions. 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. Combined with the wheel base, which is wide compared to the compact exterior length, especially sporty proportions as well as – in terms of driving on off-road terrain – very good approach angles (28 degrees in front, 35.5 degrees at the rear) are the result. Last but not least, practical roof rails with integrated LED spotlights upgrade the vehicle's off-road look when viewed from the side.

Confident front section. At the front, designers of the Taigun intentionally emulated the larger Volkswagen Tiguan and Touareg SUVs. Like them, the concept also exhibits lines that are dominated by horizontal design elements. The striking and powerful front section of the Taigun stands for a design concept that emphasises the width and thus the confident flair of the SUV. This clear predominance of horizontal lines extends to the design of headlights that are integrated in the front grille. The light signature of the LED daytime running lights frames the grille, thus accentuating the width of the Taigun once more. 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 the front; this fact is conveyed by the opulent track width of 1,473 mm (front and rear identical) which is large in relation to the vehicle's overall width (1,728 mm without mirrors).

Sophisticated rear section. The newly designed rear section of the Taigun presented in India is characterised by an outside-mounted spare wheel. When the boot lid is opened, it swings out with the lid; the boot lid is hinged on the driver's side. The rear screen, with the roof spoiler integrated above it, opens separately upwards. As well as at the front, the concept car has a rugged metal underbody protection panel at the rear. The designers have integrated the vehicle licence plate in the centre of this underbody protection panel – between the end pipe of the exhaust system (left) and the towing lug (right). An intriguing detail: the handle for opening the boot lid is homogeneously integrated in the right taillight.

Signalling effect. The Taigun is painted in a friendly pearl effect colour called "Ultra Orange." The colour is designed to underscore the sportiness of the concept car.

Interior – ideal space utilisation
Bright ambience. Like from the outside, the designers developed a 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 colour and trim concept plays with a contrast of elegance, on the one side, and the sporty functional off-road character, on the other. The beige seat covers feature a honeycomb structure; the material itself is rugged and easy to clean. The orange piping offers a fresh contrast to the beige hue of the seats and an optical bridge to the colour of the exterior. The inner surfaces of the side supports are covered in faux leather.

Rugged surfaces. The base body of the doors as well as the upper and lower sections of the dashboard were furnished by the designers with a sporty black grain. Painted analogously to the colour of the exterior: the storage compartments in the doors, the centre console and the area below the dashboard. The upper part of the dashboard and the rim of the door inserts, meanwhile, are finished in a metallic beige. All metal applications are made of matt anodised aluminium.

996 litres boot volume. 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 in the Taigun equipped with a double cargo floor increases to 996 litres. Storage compartments are also integrated in the swivelling tailgate (load width: 900 mm), which can be opened with an aluminium handle.

Great vista guaranteed. 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 every body height; the steering wheel, for example, can be adjusted in height over an angle of 25 degrees.

Intuitive operability. The operation of all interior functional elements is absolutely intuitive. Best example: the dials in the air nozzles on the dashboard. They can also be used to control the temperature and blower speed and their settings read in an ingeniously simple way. 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. If a smart phone is connected, a "Taigun Infotainment App", programmed especially for the SUV, appears on the display; the app corresponds to the colour and trim concept of the interior.

Everything in view. 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. The response of the Indian trade-fair visitors and the Indian media is something Volkswagen awaits with great excitement – their feedback will also be incorporated into the final conception of the production model.

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