Volkswagen advances Taigun SUV concept on road to production
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.