Volkswagen is continuing the SUV downsizing trend with its latest vision of the future of the small ute, the Taigun concept, which is just unveiled in Brazil at the 2012 Sao Paulo International Motor. The two other B-Class SUVs of note that are currently in production or will be shortly are the Ford EcoSport and Opel Mokka/Chevrolet Trax and its American equivalent, the Buick Encore.
Just as the EcoSport is considerably smaller than the Escape/Kuga, the Taigun is quite a bit smaller than the C-segment Tiguan. Similar to the Ford EcoSport, the Taigun features a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged, direct-injected engine. In this application, the engine produces 110 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. Ford offers three power levels with its 1.0 EcoBoost I-3, with the EcoSport getting the mid-range 120 hp model.
The VW Taigun concept takes the cake for being the smallest in the segment, with a short overall length of only 152 inches, nearly four inches shorter than the three-door Mini Clubman, and more than 10 inches shorter than the four-door Countryman. By comparison, the EcoSport stretches 167 inches bumper-to-bumper and the Buick Encore is 168.5 inches long. Volkswagen also claims a feathery 2172-lb weight for the concept, which would make it the lightest in its class as well -- the Encore and the Countryman both tip the scales at over 3000 lb. Official weight has not been released for the Ford EcoSport, but even at an estimated 2600-2700 lb, the Taigun would be lighter still.
Of course, the caveat with all "concept" cars is that things change in the transition from concept to production and there's a good chance the production version of the Taigun will be slightly larger and heavier than the concept. The likelihood of a sub-Tiguan SUV being produced are not in doubt, however, with multiple sources confirming that an SUV model smaller than the Tiguan was in the works.