First Look: Volkswagen Go! and Tex

volkswagen-giugiaro-go

Giugiaro and Volkswagen are names that have gone together for years, with the first-generation Rabbit/Golf and Scirocco to their credit. Now, with Giugiaro's Italdesign studio having been purchased by the VW Group, Giugiaro has been tasked with moving the VW brand's small vehicle lineage forward. The result are two concepts, Go! and Tex, which are being debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Each based on VW's modular transverse architecture, a highly versatile platform that can house a variety of body styles and powertrain configurations, the Go! and Tex are two entirely different vehicles. Go! represents the future of small VW hatchbacks. With the wheelbase of a Passat, but an overall length of 157 inches, the Go! features extremely short overhangs and maximized interior space. According to Giugiaro, the Go! has comparable interior volume to a large SUV and up to 18.5 cubic feet of cargo volume. Glass surfaces are maximized for better visibility and rear view cameras replace the door mirrors.

Driver and passenger windows are fixed, with only the lower half able to be lowered. This reduces the weight and complexity of the electric window motor, while allowing for adequate ventilation. Meanwhile, the side sliding door operates without tracks, keeping the mechanism from encroaching on passenger space. The electric rear hatch can be operated by passing a foot by the sensor under the rear bumper.

The interior of the Go! is designed ergonomically, featuring the same electronically-adjustable seats for all four passengers. The center console in between the two front seats can be retracted, allowing the driver to exit from the passenger door in the event of parking in an area with heavy traffic or when the driver's door is otherwise obstructed from opening. Instrumentation is placed at the base of the windshield, allowing the driver to keep focused on the road ahead. Power comes from an electric Blue-e-motion system with a range of up to 149 miles.

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Fixed glass and cameras instead of rearview mirrors? It figures that they'd try to foist that crap onto econobox buyers (for the "Go!") and not the more enthusiastic drivers at which the "Tex" is aimed. I suspect that the elimination of opening windows will follow, because of the damned side airbags, which can break your arm if your elbow's out the window, and insurance companies and manufacturers don't want the liability.

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