The Volkswagen Taigun is a new SUV launched tonight in New Delhi and created especially for the Indian market.
It was also the name of a close-to-production concept car revealed in 2014 in the same city ahead of the same motor show, and due to go into production in 2016.
And it was originally the name of a concept car launched by VW in Brazil back in 2012 at the São Paulo motor show that first revealed plans for a new small SUV.
Before he was a global superstar, footballer Neymar was on hand to reveal that first Taigun alongside a new Gol (a Brazilian-built hatchback) – at a time when eve-of-motor-show VW Group gatherings included its top execs smoking cigars in a roped-off area when the formalities were over…
There are two key differences between today’s Taigun and the two before it (or three differences if you include an absence of cigars). First is that it will definitely be built – and will be made in India alongside a Skoda sister car launched with the Taigun tonight (although, confusingly, the Skoda is a concept car but one that will make production sooner…)
Second is the underpinnings. Both previous Taiguns were based on the Up, whereas this latest one is built on an Indian version of the MQB A0 platform that VW uses for its small cars. Unlike with the Up and its NSF platform, MQB A0 allows for more spacious small SUVs to be made; the second Taigun was pulled as it was considered just too small inside.
VW claims its MQB platform is the best in the world for its adaptability, and the breadth of cars it is able to underpin, from the likes of a small Indian SUV to VW’s flagship Arteon. Yet the previous failed attempts at Taiguns tell the story of VW not always getting it right when it comes to architectures and their flexibility.
The Up’s NSF platform stands for New Small Family, yet despite a series of concept cars that ran into double figures in the lead-up to the launch of the Up that were supposed to show a whole family, nothing more than the city car and its badge-engineered siblings from Skoda and Seat emerged.