“Taigun” isn’t the name of a Siamese remake of Top Gun. But it is an anagram for “Tiguan,” Volkswagen’s current smallest SUV, and soon to be the less-smallest if the Volkswagen Taigun, this droopy, stiff-lipped, doofy blue thing above, actually enters production.
As Volkswagen previously threatened, it plans to fill out its ever-expanding lineup with some new SUVs on both sides of the Tiguan scale. Hence, the Taigun. It’s not only based on the VW Up! city car (yes, the exclamation mark is part of its name), but it also mimics the chunk-tastic styling of the Up!, the forbidden micro car that we’re not supposed to know about. (At 12 feet long, the Taigun is smaller than the Nissan Juke and the now-ironically-named Mini Countryman, the latter by a foot.) Of course, our SUV-obsessed culture will most likely see this in America, as previously surmised.
Power comes via a 1.0-liter TSI three-cylinder turbocharged engine, unsurprisingly the same engine in the Up!. In this application, it’s good for 110 horsepower. It weighs a tad over 2,000 pounds, with a varying curb weight dependent on the driver’s propensity for fast food. And likewise, it’s estimated to get 52 mpg on the US scale, which would be a big deal if it were to come here.
There’s a reason why Volkswagen chose to show the Taigun at the São Paulo International Motor Show: Volkswagen is big in Brazil, a country that’s home to all sorts of forbidden, yet rugged fruit. The Amarok pickup truck is another shining example of a tough product that could do well in America, if not for efficiency and safety regulations. Oh yeah, and currency fluctuations that come with vehicles produced outside the U.S. that make them less viable to sell here at a profit. Will Volkswagen bring the Taigun here? It certainly seems interested in the idea, and its goal of 800,000 sales in America by 2018 would come to fruition with the simple adage of more, more product.