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Auto blogWed, 01 May 2013 18:30:00 EST
Volkswagen brought an angular, bulldog-like small crossover concept called Taigun to the São Paulo motor show last year, claiming that it wanted to gauge interest in the design before making a decision about production. If a new report with alleged leaked patent images is to be believed, then, interest must have been pretty high.
China's Auto.Sohu.com has published this group of Taigun images, claiming that they have been sourced from the Chinese patent office and that the subcompact VW utility based on the Up! has been cleared for production.
If all of that is true, and if these images are representative of the final product, you'll see that designers haven't done much to alter the concept car's appearance. Comparing, shot for shot, with the images we have from Brazil, we see that even small details like roof rack-mounted lights and exhaust tips integrated in the rear fascia have been carried over. Take a closer look for yourself in the attached galleries.
Three weeks ago an analyst increased projections for European car sales this year, expecting them to climb three percent compared to last year instead of 2.7 percent. That number is a postive sign after years of hard times but it turns out February was especially good, overall European sales climbing eight percent on a wave of southern European recovery and discounts - and this comes after five months of gains including January's 7.2-percent jump over the year before.
The only country of Europe's five largest markets to post a decline was France, just as it did in January, Germany, the UK and Italy posting solid double-digit numbers, Spain rocking the charts with an 18-percent increase because of a government program to encourage trade-ins.
The only brand to miss the wave was Volkswagen, dropping 0.8 percent as it watched the double-digit growth at sister brands Audi, Seat and Skoda lift the Volkswagen Group sales up by seven-percent. Peugeot overcame flat sales at Citroën to improve the group by 3.5 percent, BMW and the Mercedes-Benz/Smart combo rose by four percent, the Fiat group jumped 5.8 percent, Ford was up 11 percent, the Renault Group 11.5 percent, General Motors 12 percent and the Toyota clan by 14 percent.
Way back in 1973, Volkswagen decided it was high time to take the loveable air-cooled Bug racing. No, it wasn't painted in Herbie colors - Volkswagen called its sport-tuned machine the Beetle GSR, "Gelb Schwarzer Renner" or "Yellow Black Racer." Hence, the somewhat shocking paint scheme.
VW is bringing its sporty black and yellow Beetle back for 2014, and you can see live photos of it above. It's got a 210-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood (that'd be the hood up front, unlike the car's forebear), and a six-speed manual or DSG automatic transmission sends those ponies to the front wheels. Note that this car's output is up 10 horses on other turbo VWs, and the Jetta GLI and Beetle Turbo for 2013. The 0-60 run takes 6.6 seconds, and top speed is limited to 130 miles per hour.
Besides the in-your-face black and yellow paint, the GSR is outfitted with a large rear spoiler and 19-inch wheels shod with 235/40 tires. The bee-like hue carries over inside, with yellow stitching on black leather. Only 3,500 will be produced, each with its own unique plaque. Pricing has not yet been announced, but you're free to read through the press release below all the same.