Volkswagen has given the green light for its compact SUV Taigun, according to a report on AutoWeek. The crossover based on the Up! platform was first featured as a concept at last year's Sao Paulo Motor Show and is likely to start production in 2016.
The report claims that the Ford EcoSport rival will be focused on emerging markets and be initially assembled in Brazil and India. The car is based on Volkswagen's new Small Family platform structure which it shares with the Up!. The Taigun is expected to be a front-wheel drive sub-four meter car that will measure 3.86m in length, 1.73m in width and 1.57m in height. Plans for a four-wheel drive option will be on hold initially as the company plans to reduce fixed cost on the model by keeping to relatively similar to its sister hatchback.
The car will most likely be powered by the same engines found under the hood of the Up! but possibly at a higher state of tune. The Up! is powered by two sets of three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol mills producing 60PS and 75PS respectively while being mated to a five-speed manual box. These are likely to feature in the Taigun also.
Volkswagen had earlier announced that they were sticking to a plan to periodically refresh the existing range in India until 2015. This further strengthens the possibility of a 2016 launch for the car in India.
The car will face tough competition from the Ford EcoSport in India and the Fiat Panda Trekking and the Suzuki Jimny in other markets. Local manufacturing and the economies of scale will help VW price the car competitively in India and improve their presence in the emerging markets.