VW Taigun GT stays true to the concept shown last year
VW Taigun GT stays true to the concept shown last yearVolkswagen

VW Taigun to get GT treatment

The production version of VW’s mid-size SUV stays true to the Auto Expo concept and top variants of the VW Taigun will be badged the GT

The wraps were pulled off the production-spec Volkswagen Taigun barely a week after the Skoda Kushaq’s global unveiling. And the big news is that the Taigun will get a GT variant, to build on the strength of that badge in India.

Based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, the Taigun is heavily localised to the tune of 95 per cent and that’s something that will not only keep prices competitive (we expect it to under cut the Hyundai Creta) but will also reduce service costs. Over the past year, in the build-up to the Taigun, VW have worked extensively on the lowering the Total Cost of Ownership of their existing models which has now come down by between 3 to 13 per cent. Cost of consumables like engine oil have gone down by 30 per cent, more child parts are available, and VW claims this has lowered overall cost of ownership to the tune of 20 to 25 per cent. A service cost calculator on VW’s website has introduced more transparency and customers can now watch their cars being serviced, live, from the comfort of their own homes. All of this is “Fundamental to the future”, said Ashish Gupta, brand director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India.

It shares the MQB-A0-IN platform with the Skoda Kushaq
It shares the MQB-A0-IN platform with the Skoda KushaqVolkswagen

Volkswagen Taigun GT design

On the styling the production-spec Taigun stays true to the concept shown at the Auto Expo with a strong Volkswagen family resemblance to the face, yet being younger and more dynamic. Typical of all VWs, the Taigun has sharp creases, a prominent shoulder line and muscle in the haunches. It gets LED lights front and back on the top end versions and, unique to the Taigun, are the full width taillamps that cut a striking and distinctive shape. “The mark of good design is that you look back twice,” said Skoda-VW Group head Gurpratap Boparai at the unveiling.

The VW Taigun GT flaunts GT badges at the front, side and the rear
The VW Taigun GT flaunts GT badges at the front, side and the rearVolkswagen

VW Taigun GT size

Boparai is particularly proud of the torsional rigidity of the MQB-A0-IN platform which he says is 30 per cent stiffer than the PQ-platform cars, the Polo and Vento (already benchmarks in their segments) and that has enabled use of softer dampers to deliver great ride without compromising on the handling. The Taigun shares dimensions with the Kushaq — it is 4225mm long, 1612mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2651mm which is the longest in its class. It’s only the 1760mm width that is narrower than its rivals and while room for four is very good, five can be a squeeze. The Taigun will not get an all-wheel-drive variant which is why it gets a very small transmission tunnel.

VW Taigun GT

The Taigun will get the updated and heavily localised (to the tune of 75 per cent) version of the 1.0 TSI engine, now making 113.3bhp of power and 175Nm of torque. This will get a 6-speed manual and an uprated 6-speed torque converter. The Taigun GT will get the 1.5 TSI Evo engine making 148bhp of power and 250Nm of torque, and it’ll get both the 6-speed manual and 7-speed twin-clutch DSG automatic. The engine, complete with active cylinder deactivation, is also assembled in India but doesn’t have the high localisation content of the 1.0 TSI that will be the volume driver.

Full width LED bar at the rear of the VW Taigun GT
Full width LED bar at the rear of the VW Taigun GTVolkswagen

Visually the GT version gets the blacked-out roof, GT badges on the nose, tail and flanks and red brake callipers (on the front, the rear continues to be drum brakes). The GT will also get body coloured or (depending on the exterior colour) contrasting/complementing trim elements on the dashboard — none of which we can show you because our cameras were taken away and these are the only pictures supplied to the media. I will point out though that, compared to the Skoda Kushaq, the Taigun gets a digital cockpit and that’s going to be a big differentiator; actually the only real differentiator between the two cousins (apart from the steering wheel). On the safety front the top-end variants get 6 airbags, ESP, hill-hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring and two Isofix mounts.

“We have worked hard over two and a half years, testing it over a million and a half kilometres,” says Boparai of the mid-size SUV, “To ensure it is dependable, safe and reliable”.

VW Taigun price

The Taigun will be launched a month after the Kushaq’s market introduction so expect to see VW’s Hyundai Creta/Kia Seltos-rival in showrooms by July-August. “In time for the festive season in Kerala”, clarifies Ashish Gupta. And as for pricing, he adds, “Pricing is going to be competitive, in the heart of the market.”

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