Volkswagen is working on two small SUVs – including a rival for the Nissan Juke – according to the company's head of research and development.
Speaking at the Detroit motor show, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg admitted that the recent spate of small SUV launches – including the forthcoming Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur – was further evidence that buyers of traditional superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo are looking at more SUV-esque vehicles.
'There will be a demand in the market for different sizes of SUVs, including ones that are smaller than the Tiguan,' said Hackenberg. 'There is a question over how small they can be, but one class under the Tiguan is absolutely necessary.'
Volkswagen showed a baby SUV concept car called Taigun at last year's Sao Paolo motor show. However, Hackenberg suggests that the model already in the pipeline is a little larger, placing it at around 4.2m in length – roughly the same as the Nissan Juke and Vauxhall Mokka. That would potentially allow room for a chunky Volkswagen Up SUV of just less than four metres in length.
Hackenberg said:' The Taigun was almost two sizes of vehicle beneath the Tiguan. We are doing some customer clinics and studies to analyse the level of demand for an SUV of that size.'
Hackenberg also admitted that VW's 'ultra-affordable' new model is unlikely to be sold under the Volkswagen brand, and that it probably won't be sold at all in Europe – at least in its early stages. 'We are thinking of China with this car for now,' he said.
By John McIlroy
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