Volkswagen Taigun Compact SUV

Volkswagen has just unveiled the Taigun compact SUV at the 2012 Sao Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil. The German automaker says that a small SUV has huge potential in emerging markets like China, Latin America, Mexico and India. The Volkswagen Taigun is still in concept stage but looks ready for production. However it is not going to go on sale before 2014. The Taigun is based on the same platform as the Up! thereby giving Volkswagen reduced costs of development.

Although the styling is very Volkswagen, we see a hint of the Renault Duster in its profile. Measuring a length of 3859 mm, the Taigun is not the longest compact SUV. Its chief rivals, the Ford EcoSport (almost 4-meters in length) and Renault Duster (4315 mm) are much longer. The Taigun is 1728 mm wide and 1570 mm tall. With these dimensions the Volkswagen Taigun will easily get small car benefits in India. The vehicle runs on 205/50/R17 tyres but expect 16-inch wheels on the production variant.

The front-wheel drive Volkswagen Taigun is powered by a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine with direct fuel injection (TSI) to produce 110 PS of peak power and 175 Nm of peak torque at just 1500 RPM. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and returns a claimed mileage of 22 km/l. With a weight of just 985 kgs, the Volkswagen Taigun will accelerate to 100 km/hr in just 9.2 seconds, with a top speed being 186 km/hr. The ground clearance of the Taigun is quite good and Volkswagen has equipped it with airbags, ABS and Electronic Stabilisation Programme.

The Volkswagen Taigun carries a front overhang of 708 mm, while the rear overhang is 681 mm. This has been done in the interest of space maximization in the cabin. The Taigun has a boot volume of 280-litres, which can be extended to 987-litres with the rear seats folded. The Renault Duster has a much bigger boot capacity of 475-litres.

The interiors are simple just like other Volkswagen cars. The instrument cluster seems to be inspired from the Beetle with a large speedometer and a small tachometer. The 3-spoke steering wheel comes from the VW Up!, while there are three pods on the top of the dashboard to display the turbo and oil pressure. The multi-colored interiors look very good and something which will appeal to younger buyers. The small dimensions make the Volkswagen Taigun a 4-seater.

Volkswagen India will certainly look at bringing the Taigun to Indian shores as soon as possible. The company will try its level best to increase localization as much as possible, in order to price the Taigun aggressively against its rivals. The under development 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine (EA 189) is sure to power the Taigun in diesel loving India. Compact SUVs are the next big rush in India and every manufacturer seems to be working on one. However Volkswagen is also working on a crossover based on the Polo and Passat platforms. These too could find their way to India by 2015.