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Up! based VW Taigun India-bound

Team OD Updated: May 09, 2013, 04:14 PM IST

So Volkswagen's plans to bring the Up! small car to India have been dropped because the car just wasn't feasible enough for our market. But that doesn't mean that we won't be getting any cars based on the platform. VW showed off their latest creation the Taigun concept at the Sao Paulo Motor Show in October 2012. The Taigun Concept held everyone's attention, with it being the company's first foray into the compact SUV segment. However, Ulrich Hackenberg, member of board of management Volkswagen in a candid chat with OVERDRIVE said that they are studying a compact SUV for the Indian market. He also said that it makes more sense to do an SUV in the current Indian market scene but that doesn't mean they aren't considering a crossover too. VW is currently running tests on the Crossover but are contemplating the SUV for India. Contrary to earlier reports that VW is looking to bring in an SUV based on the Polo platform, the Taigun seems to tick all the right boxes for the Indian market considering how compact MUVs like the Quanto have been setting the sales chart on fire.

The Taigun is essentially a compact SUV built on a stretched Up! platform. At just 3.86 metres long and 1.73 metres wide the Taigun slots well under the sub 4-metre category for those crucial tax benefits. Like the Up! The Taigun promises to be small on the outside but big on the inside, thanks to a generous 2.47-metre wheelbase.

The Taigun is styled to emulate its elder SUV siblings, the Tiguan and Touareg, and this can be seen in the rugged side panels, underbody protection and roof rails with LED spotlights. Wide tracks (1,473 mm) at the front and rear, 17-inch alloys with 205/50 R17 tyres and a high ground clearance help give the Taigun a purposeful SUV look. It is obviously not designed for hardcore offroading and the high driving position will be most beneficial for an optimum driving position in traffic. Boot space is barely adequate at 280 litres but increases to 987 litres with the rear seats down. It also gets a split rear tailgate, with the top two-thirds opening upwards and the bottom third folding down, for easier loading.

Powering the Taigun is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that produces 110PS at 5,000rpm and 175Nm of torque through a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine is based on the latest EA211 series, and thanks to the use of direct fuel injection and turbocharging VW claims it can return a very impressive combined fuel consumption of 21kmpl, despite being able to take the 985kg Taigun from zero to 100kmph in 9.2 seconds and on to a 185kmph top speed.

The concept car has simple but futuristic interiors and we particularly liked the aircon vents that let you individually control not just the air flow and blower speed but also the temperature which is displayed within the nozzle. It's a cool feature but one unlikely to make it into production as VW India may choose to remove some of the features to keep the pricing competitive. There's also a central infotainment system that pairs with the majority of smart phones. Above this are three auxiliary instrument gauges that display oil pressure, coolant temperature and turbo charger pressure. Again, features more often seen on sports cars and unlikely to make it into production.

We expect the Tiguan to be launched in India where it should be priced in the Scorpio/Duster price range. While it will be a considerably smaller vehicle, it should give them and the soon to be launched EcoSport (its direct competitor) some proper competition when it gets here in 2014.

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