Among its portfolio of worldwide brands there are very few shapes and sizes not yet explored, and the Volkswagen Taigun Concept adds a compact crossover to the list.
Unveiled at the Sao Paulo Motor Show currently underway in Brazil, the Taigun is Volkswagen's interpretation of a rival for the Nissan Juke.
At around 12'8" long, and 5'8" wide, it's actually almost a foot shorter than the Juke, and an inch narrower.
A relatively long wheelbase and short overhangs front and rear ensure that interior space is still maximized, while simple lines and balanced proportions give the Taigun a modern, rugged look. 17-inch wheels balance out the shape.
While Volkswagen claims the high ride height helps it deal with rough surfaces, the company says it's very much a vehicle designed for the city.
Central to this is a new engine, and not a diesel one as you may expect from VW. A 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline unit sits under the hood, putting out 108 horsepower and 129 lbs ft of torque.
Like Ford's similar 3-cylinder engine, it's designed to offer the performance of a larger engine with the economy and emissions of something much smaller. In the Taigun, that means a 0-62 mph time of 9.2 seconds, and combined economy of 50 mpg--albeit on the typically optimistic European cycle.
Volkswagen Taigun Concept, Sao Paulo Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
Were it to be tested by the EPA, we tend to suggest a difference of 15-20 percent--so the 3-cylinder Taigun could still be a 40 mpg car.
By comparison, a Nissan Juke with its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine gets only 29 mpg combined, with its automatic transmission.
Volkswagen will gauge public reaction before it decides whether to put the Taigun into production. With great styling and an efficient gasoline engine, we hope it does.