The story behind the Volkswagen Taigun's design
Jozef Kaban — Head of design of the VW Group, talks us through the styling of the upcoming made in India mid-size SUV, the Taigun
The Volkswagen Taigun is all set to launch in India in July 2021. With a 95% localised rate to keep costs down, modifications are made to its underpinnings; Volkswagen's MQB-A0-IN platform for the needs of the Indian market. This T-Cross based SUV has not only been altered visually but proportionally too. We got talking to Jozef Kaban, head of design at the VW Group, who highlighted the process of conceptualising and designing the Taigun and how a simple sketch slowly transitions to the road.
Volkswagen Taigun: From concept to production
“The production car is just like the concept car, in fact we have improved a few bits to make it even better for the road. At the front we have LED headlights with loads of intricate details. We have nice divisions between the details in the lights and the grille. The bonnet is sculptured to give it a powerful character, it gives the driver a good view outside and of the car's corners.
This is a car for young people, and I think it's immediately visible,” says Jozef. “In the D-pillar we have a third window graphic which gives the car a longer look. At the rear we have given the car very cool lights, the full-length LED light bar gives a strong character and makes the rear end attractive at night. Signature VW details like the integrated rear camera make it more clean. The body cladding and front and rear skid plates give it a sporty and powerful character.”
Speaking about the interior, Jozef adds “The interior has also been made sure to have high quality materials, the digital life continues in the car. The driver gets a digital instrument cluster with easy to read elements, the centre 10-inch infotainment touchscreen is surrounded by good quality materials. The contrast color combination on the dashboard and the door panels give it an attractive look.”
Volkswagen Taigun’s India-specific design elements
“When we looked at the Indian market, we thought it would be helpful if the car is a little bigger, so we used a longer wheelbase in comparison to Europe. We also added the third window on the side graphic to give the car more length. And these, I believe, give the car bigger proportions, they add to the road presence. We also discussed the trim options, right colors and other small but very important details,” says Jozef. “In terms of the interiors, we have modern digital screens and a couple of color combinations that give the car different characters, the grey color is young and fits very well with the top of the dashboard giving it a more high-tech appearance. The beige is very popular in the Indian market.
As for the screens and the haptic controller, digitisation is a very important step in more possibilities and India is embracing this global trend, it makes future updates possible. Designing a car with digital real estate on the inside is now all about finding the right balance between the displays or physical switches and we analyse that keeping in mind our target audience. India is pushing in the way of new technologies and digitisation."
Jozef adds, “For us it is very important that we give buyers a product which has global acceptance, so during the development we invite major players at the beginning of the project for discussion. India demanded a longer wheelbase and a different roof which we have made sure, but at the same time we also want people in India not getting a different car from the other regions, because we believe certain aesthetics live globally in a similar way. The vivid color combinations inside and out, high detailing and butch body treatment are an inspiration from India's culture, but with the German quality.”
Design directions and similarities with other VW products
“We look at the cars from a critical point of view; how far or close the design similarities should be between two products,” says Jozef. “It is important for us to give the car the brand look. For some people it might be too close, but for the Taigun customer this is crucial because it looks like something bigger and something more expensive than anything else in its class. We are not trying to be funky but are trying to give it a representative look as the Tiguan does because we believe the customer will appreciate it. The Taigun needs to belong to the family initially, which it does. The styling decision lies on the brand and the places where we want to put the product. The Taigun was designed as a car for the European, Chinese and Indian markets. So it was important for us to consider the needs and cover all topics of every market. India was always the main target to reach and I am sure it will be understood, because it was made so.”
While we have already driven the Skoda Kushaq earlier — a close sibling to the Taigun — we can’t wait to get behind the ’wheel of Volkswagen’s new baby SUV, especially in the now confirmed GT variants. Stay tuned to our social media handles to be among the first ones to get updates on the Taigun and on the automotive world.