That’s not a typo — this is the Volkswagen Taigun concept, a small crossover that was revealed today at the Sao Paulo motor show in Brazil. Though its name is an anagram for the company’s existing Tiguan, this crossover is much smaller, at 151.3 inches long and 68.0 inches wide. Those dimensions mean the Taigun is only a little larger than a MINI Cooper hatchback.
The Taigun concept is part of Volkswagen’s New Small Family range, which includes the teensy Up! city car. It’s a bit less flexible than the MQB architecture that underpins the new Volkswagen Golf, but New Small Family still can be adapted to vehicles of different sizes and purposes.
The Volkswagen Taigun concept’s design is that of a scaled-down Tiguan or Touareg and similar to the Cross Coupe Concept from last year’s Tokyo show. The Taigun has a wide front grille, fat squared-off flared fenders, prominent silver skid plates, roof rails with integrated LED spotlights, and a fat C-pillar that is slightly raked forward. For extra practicality the top two-thirds of the tailgate swings up, while the lower third opens downward, permitting access to the 9.9-cubic foot cargo area. Despite the front-wheel-drive setup and showy 17-inch wheels, Volkswagen says the Taigun has enough ground clearance to handle mild off-roading.
The no-nonsense interior has a trio of analog gauges before the driver, a touchscreen interface in the center of the dashboard, three gauges atop the dashboard, and a small center console. Volkswagen says the interior is supposed to remind drivers and passengers of the straightforward design of tablet computers.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.0-liter inline-three rated at 81 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. Because the Taigun concept weighs just 2172 pounds, Volkswagen claims it can accelerate to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds, reach a top speed of 115 mph, and sip fuel at the equivalent of 52 mpg.
Volkswagen says that the Taigun is just a concept, but claims the car could easily be put into production at a later date. Given how eager the brand is to expand its range, it seems highly likely the Taigun will reach a Volkswagen showroom at some point in the next few years. There are already rumors that the company wants to build a long-wheelbase soft-roader based on the Up! platform, and the Taigun seems like a strong predictor of that model.