Volkswagen is planning on tapping the lucrative SUV market in India with a more affordable SUV, the new baby SUV Volkswagen Taigun by 2016. The Taigun will interestingly fall under 4-metres in length and could benefit from lower excise duties.
The Taigun will be based on Volkswagen’s new UP platform (codenamed PQ12) and will be a compact five-seater that would take on the likes of the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport. The vehicle will be powered by a three cylinder 1-litre turbo-petro motor, good for about 110PS (similar to the power output of the diesel Duster). It could also hold a 1.5 litre diesel engine that Volkswagen is likely to introduce first in the Polo / Vento platform for the Indian market. Another possible engine option is a 1.4 litre three-cylinder diesel that is under development. It will be a front-wheel drive only compact SUV with a six-speed manual transmission. Also read: Jeep to launch compact SUV rivalling Renault Duster
All these options would help the Taigun stay within the small car excise duty norms allowing it to be priced aggressively under Rs. 10 lakh. At that price point, the Taigun would compete directly with the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster, and would probably have new competition to deal with in the form of Maruti’s XA Alpha compact SUV and Fiat’s upcoming compact SUV too. Also see: Ford Ecosport likely features and variants
The Taigun has more conventional SUV looks, with a squared off design. The headlamps on the concept Taigun are LEDs, but the production model may have more conventional lights, merging into the straight and simple grille. The rear has the VW family look with the rectangular tail-lamps bearing a passing resemblance to the Polo’s lights. The proportions of the car look compact enough for five passengers only, although since the Taigun isn’t too wide, it may be comfortable for four at best. The interiors too have plain and simple lines, with a straightforward dashboard design – housing three gauges.
Skoda too would probably get its own version of the Taigun compact SUV and would price it slightly below the Taigun. But that launch would be even later, as Volkswagen wants to consolidate its position in the Indian market first. Looking at the success of the Renault Duster, every carmaker now wants a piece of the action. But would 2016 be a little too late? Also read: Nissan to launch rebadged Duster SUV in 2013
Source: Autocar India