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Volkswagen Debuts Up!-based Taigun Small Crossover

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On: Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 3:06PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Debuts Up!-based Taigun Small Crossover

Small, rugged crossover seems to be the theme at the 2012 Sao Paulo Motor Show. Nissan showed the sub-Juke-sized EXTREM concept, and Volkswagen showed the Taigun concept, a small crossover concept that could become part of its New Small Family.

We had heard word that VW was considering a mid-sized crossover, but the Taigun is definitely not it. At 3,859 mm long, 1,728 mm wide and 1,570 mm tall, the Taigun is well smaller than the Tiguan, VW's current small crossover. Instead, this concept is the Up! crossover that we had heard rumor about. While it is compact overall, the car uses a long wheelbase that creates short overhangs and capable proportions.

The Taigun is powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI gas engine that produces 108 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. That available torque helps the car to navigate efficiently both on and off road, as does a high ground clearance, underbody protection panels and electronic stabilization.

Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand for Technical Development, says of the engine: "The torque-strong three-cylinder is an ideal engine for such a compact SUV; it is a companion for driving through the urban environment that is as efficient as it is dynamic."

In terms of styling, Volkswagen was looking to create a powerful but recognizable small crossover that fits neatly in the New Small Family, which includes the Up! city car. Key elements include a side character line, roof rails with integrated LED lights, 17-inch wheels and flared wings. The car is painted in "Seaside Blue."

Inside, VW keeps things clean and functional. Instead of the usual central air controls, the Taigun uses individual dashboard vent dials that control temperature and airflow settings and provide read-outs. A two-part tailgate provides access to the 280-liter (987 liters with rear seats folded) trunk in back.

Volkswagen says that the chances for a production version are good, assuming it is well received by the public. Inside Line reports that the automaker has no plans to send the car North America's way.

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