Famed design house Italdesign has been part of the Volkswagen Group since the middle of last year, and the first fruits of the companies’ joint cooperation were unveiled last night on the eve of the 81st Geneva Motor Show. Leaked online last week, the two concepts are both less than four metres long, and feature twin-drive hybrid drivetrains. But, most intriguingly, does the Tex, the sportier of the the two models – the other, the Go! is a compact MPV, maybe another future Polo variant – point to a new spin on the ‘80s Polo coupé? The current Polo is 3970mm long, and lacks a true out-and-out sports focused model, so could the Tex fill the void and be a baby brother to the successful Scirocco?
Building on current and reported future Volkswagen design cues, we think the Tex already looks like a slightly edgier Polo, with echoes of the current model in its side profile. The front grille is an even slimmer version of that seen on current VWs, while the rear features a glass hatchback, with hidden rear lights (first shown on the Up! concept from 2007) and a mounted blade-type spoiler. A full-length panoramic glass roof lets light into the brown and read leather interior, while deeply-sculpted ‘quarterlight’ windows provide a new Volkswagen design flourish. Large spider-like multi-spoke wheels fill the pronounced wheelarches, while the red pinstripe evokes that of the original 1982 Polo coupé.
Powered by a Twin Drive plug-in engine built by Volkswagen, the Tex showcases modern hybrid technology. A 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is paired with a 114bhp electric motor, which, when used together, can produce 295lb ft of torque, enough for 0-62mph in around six seconds and a top speed of 137mph. All this power is driven through a seven-speed DSG gearbox, with paddles on the steering wheel, as seen on the latest Polo GTI. As well as being a sporty powerhouse, the Tex is also eco-minded, too, and can travel around 20 miles in all-electric mode only. If given the green light for production, both the Tex and Go! could be on the market by 2018. The full Italdesign/VW press release follows.
> Read More