Volkswagen and Giugiaro have a long, storied history together, and it surprised few people when the automaker and Italian designer's Italdesign studio joined forces last year. Now, Italidesign has created two new VW concept cars, both alternatively powered, that represent the future of VW's small car lineup.
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.
Meanwhile, the Tex concept is designed to represent the future of sporty, small Volkswagens. Named after the Italian comic book ranger Tex Willer, the Tex sits at 53-inches tall and 69-inches wide, giving it a profile similar to a sports car. Nineteen-inch wheels sit at all four corners and the front fascia is aggressive, featuring three large air intakes to cool the 1.4-liter engine and the front brake discs.
The interior of the Tex was also designed to be reminiscent of all-out sports cars, with a wrap-around design that is driver-centric. Instrumentation is large and clear and sits in analog fashion just ahead of the driver, while and the passenger side of the vehicle is designed to maximize space. Two independent rear seats can be folded flat for maximizing storage.
Power for the Tex comes from a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to a 85kW electric motor. Combined, the pair make 295 pound-feet of torque, propelling the Tex from 0-62 mph in roughly 6 seconds. A top speed of roughly 137 mph is theoretically possible. The gearbox is a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch unit, as currently found in the VW lineup. According to VW, vehicles based on the platform underpinning the Go! and Tex will be built next year, though there are currently no indications that either concept will enter production.