22 October 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Taigun concept and Novo Gol debut at São Paulo motor show

2012 Volkswagen Taigun concept

Generally, we’re not big fans of SUVs at PoloDriver, which is why we were surprised and excite at the idea of the Taigun, Volkswagen’s latest sports utility offering, unveiled at the São Paulo motor show today. Officially a concept, and previewing the look of a small SUV based on the platform of the award-winning Up platform, it looks fantastic with its wide front grille and blistered wheelarches. We thought it was much larger than its city car underpinnings suggest, and although the profile and door apertures suggest a three-door body, the rear door handles are hidden in the C-pillar, riding on the wave of recent launches such as the new Renault Clio.

The Taigun is 3.86m long and 1.73m wide, but has a generous 2.47m wheelbase. Its powered by the forthcoming Up GT’s three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, developing 109bhp @ 5000rpm (129lb ft/175Nm of torque) and is front-wheel drive, transferring power via a six-speed manual gearbox. Weight is commendably low at 985kg and does wonders for the fuel economy, which is rated at 60.1mpg on the combined cycle. Performance from the newly-developed triple is more than adequate: 0-62mph comes up in 9.2 seconds, while the Taigun has a 115mph top speed.

The handsome looks of the Brazilian debutant are clearly based on the larger Tiguan and Touareg, but with injections of new sharp-edged Volkswagen DNA. And with bright colours suiting it best, we really do think it should enter production as it is. The high-tech and minimal cabin would change of course, but features air vent controls for direction of air flow, blower speed and temperature, as well as smartphone integration and auxiliary gauges.

Also unveiled in São Paulo was the three-door version of the Gol, a car which sits inbetween the Polo and Golf in size. Brazil’s best-selling car for the past 25 years, it may not be as glitzy as the Taigun, but it is much more significant, selling seven million examples. It’s a good-looking, if slightly bland car, but blends element of the current Polo up front and at the rear, with shades of the Audi A1 in profile. And as for the A- (windscreen) pillar and front wing joins – they are pure Mk 2 Polo!

The official line is that Volkswagen will be ‘monitoring public reaction to the Taigun before taking a decision on whether to put this vehicle into production’, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised, if, like the Mk 7 Golf GTI concept shown at the Paris motor show, the junior SUV hits urban landscapes soon. With rumours of a MQB-platform Polo SUV abound and due for launch in 2014, could the Taigun provide us with a clue as to how it looks?

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