At this week's 2012 São Paulo International Motor Show in Brazil, Volkswagen introduced a new study for a small SUV that looks far more production ready than what the automaker would like us to believe.
The concept's name in Taigun, which as you have probably already guessed, is an anagram of "Tiguan", VW's SUV proposal in the compact segment.
The German company makes no effort to hide the fact that the Taigun not only resembles the styling but is also technically based on its New Small Family models represented by the Up! city cars, adding that if it were to be produced, it would round out the range "in an upward direction".
The Taigun is 3,859 mm (151.9in.) long, 1,728 mm (43.9 in.) wide and 1,570 mm (39.9 in) tall, which makes it significantly smaller not only from the Tiguan (4,432 mm or 174.5 in. long), but even the Nissan Juke (4,125mm or 162.4 in. long).
It rides on a 2,470 mm (97.2 in.) wheelbase, which is about 50mm longer than that of the Up! city car and relatively large in relation to its exterior length.
Inside, the Taigun comes with seating for four and a respectable boot space of 280 liters, which can increase to 987 liters when the rear bench seat is folded down.
For its motivation, the small crossover model utilizes a prototype version of the Up! hatchback's 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine enhanced with direct fuel injection and turbocharging technology to boost output to 108hp (110PS) and 175Nm (129 lb-ft) at a low 1,500 rpm. A six-speed manual transfers power to the front wheels.
"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," commented Ulrich Hackenberg, VW Board Member for Technical Development.
VW says that the concept car weighs only 985kg or 2,172 pounds and is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/h (62mph) in 9.2 seconds en route to a top speed of 186km/h (116mph), while returning a combined fuel consumption of around 4.5lt/100km (52.3mpg US or 62.8mpg UK).
In concept form, the Taigun is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and size 205/50 R17 tires and an ESC electronic stabilization programme, while the designs of both the interior and the exterior of the car borrow their styling DNA directly from the Up! family of models.
Whether VW will go ahead and build the Taigun will largely depend on the reception of the concept, but if it receives the green light, expect it to be introduced within the next two to three years.