The Volkswagen Taigun is one of the concept vehicles which was unveiled at the 2012 Sao Paulo Motor Show. It is an extrmely compact SUV which is based on the diminutive platform of the new Volkswagen up!. The Volkswagen Taigun measures just 3.86 metres (12.6 feet) long, and 1.73 metres (5.6 feet) wide. However thanks to a relatively long wheelbase, and short front and rear overhangs, the amount of available interior space is maximised.
On the outside the Taigun has been styled to match its considerably larger siblings, the Tiguan and Touareg. It has ruggedized panels around the lower portions of the front, sides and rear, and even a token skid plate to protect its vulnerable underbelly. The aluminium roof rails cleverly incorporate a pair of LED spotlights. However Volkswagen are keen to stress that despite its modicum of off-road equipment and styling features, this really is more of an urban vehicle. The high driving position gives the driver a better view in traffic, while there’s plenty of room for luggage, thanks to a practical 280-litre loadspace that increases to 987 litres with the rear seats down.
The interior of the Volkswagen Taigun concept is simple and spacious, with controls pared back to a minimum. The front air nozzles, for example, not only individually control the direction of the air flow, but also the blower speed and the temperature, which is displayed within the nozzle. Meanwhile the central infotainment system can pair with the majority of smartphones, providing an intuitive interface. Above this are mounted auxiliary instrument gauges that display oil pressure, coolant temperature and turbo charge pressure.
Powering the Volkswagen Taigun concept is a 1.0 litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine which develops 110 horsepower and 129 lb-ft (175 Nm) of torque. The transmission is a six-speed manual. With the use of direct fuel injection and turbocharging this drivetrain is able to return a combined fuel consumption of just 4.7 litres per 100km (60.1 mpg), and in addition allow for an adequate zero to 62 mph time of 9.2 seconds, and a 115 mph (186 km/h) top speed. Not fast, but good enough for a car whose major selling points are its practicality and frugality.
Volkswagen say they will be keeping close tabs on how the public react to the Taigun. If the feedback is positive then they may consider putting the vehicle into production in the near future.