Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Italdesign Guigiaro's Polo-Sized VW Tex Coupe and Go! MPV Concepts

Italdesign Giugiaro celebrates its official Volkswagen property status with the the Tex and Go! concepts, both based on VW's upcoming modular transverse architecture. VW hopes use this architecture to cut down on development costs by having a vehicle system that can house a variety of power trains from the start.

Starting with the sportier of the two "A0" segment concepts, the Tex is Italdesign's take on "tomorrow's sporty Volkswagen". This baby Scirocco - approximately the size of a Polo and named after Italian comic hero Tex Willer - is a front-wheel drive sport hatch powered by a Twin Drive hybrid plug-in system.

Mated to a 7-speed DSG, this allows for up to 35 kilometers of electric travel, a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph), and a sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in "about 6 seconds".

The setup utilizes a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and an 85 kW electrical unit that creates 400 Nm / 295 lb-ft of combined torque. Inside the Tex are four seats, lots of leather, and a traditional sporty layout which makes use of numerous LCD screens.

Fabrizio Giugiaro, Italdesign Giugiaro style manager and deputy chairman, says, "We intentionally kept a family feeling that would immediately identify it as a Wolfsburg product close to production. No visionary or futuristic choice was made, but it is rather a natural evolution of today's canons with the addition of a few technologies that will shortly become available on the market."

The Go! MPV is powered by a Blue-e-motion system, a 100% VW development that will send the car on a 240 kilometer trip without one bit of CO2 being released into our precious atmosphere.

With the Go!, Giorgetto Giugiaro's goal is to continue his exploration of a small car's interior space that started over three decades ago: "I wanted to continue the design of a car able to offer maximum utilization of its interior...The project started with the 1976 New York Taxi, and continued with the 1978 Megagamma, the 1998 Structura and then came to maturity with the 2010 Emas. The Go! is less than 4 metres long, but offers more passenger room than that of a large SUV and has a 400 up to 525-liter boot."

The A-pillar has been moved forward and the side-view mirrors have been replaced with cameras, while plenty of glass was used for improved visibility and an open-air driving feel. Only the lower parts of the windows can be opened in order to shrink the size of the power window mechanism while still allowing for standard window uses like "paying tolls or refueling".

The seating position (in this case the "H", or hip, point) has been raised to improve ingress/egress, a factor that many people who are getting on in their years will no doubt appreciate. The Go!'s rear "sliding" door has benefited from the Milano Taxi's trackless system, cleaning up those unsightly gashes found on the sides of minivans.

According to Italdesign, "ergonomics" is the word of the day when it comes to the Go!'s interior. Of the four seats, the rear two can be folded down electronically by remote to reach that 525-liter storage capacity. Between the front two seats is a sliding armrest which Italdesign claims "aids the driver when getting out from the passenger side...if parking is narrow or if there are objects blocking the opening of the left door." I'm sure that would be handy when going out on dates, too.

Essential data is shown at the base of the windshield, which is said to reduce eye strain while still showing drivers what's what while driving.

VW Group Design Chief Walter de' Silva says, "The Go! and Tex are the first concrete result of Italdesign Giugiaro's integration within the Group...These two concept cars are the outcome of an independent research study carried forth by Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro on a topic strategic for the Group: solutions for the urban mobility of tomorrow."

By Phil Alex



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