A hybrid coupe and an electric minivan, which were styled by designer Giorgetto Giugiaro for Volkswagen, may preview greener models for the automaker. The Tex plug-in hybrid-electric coupe and the Go electric medium minivan were presented by Giugiaro's Italdesign company at the 2011 Geneva auto show.
These two vehicles are built on VW's new MQB modular transverse platform architecture, which is expected to debut in 2012 on the new Audi A3 entry-premium car. As part of a plan to overtake Toyota Motors Corp. as the world’s top automaker, VW group purchased a 90% stake in Italdesign last spring so that it will add to its design and engineering capacity.
According to VW Group design chief Walter de' Silva, the concepts are valuable to VW’s strategy as they are "solutions for the urban mobility of tomorrow." The Go represents how Giugiaro envisions the next Touran medium minivan.
According to Giugiaro, the concept continues his research for improved ergonomics and passenger room and at the same time, he has aimed to keep overall dimension as compact as possible. He said that in his career, he has constantly moved to “maximize the interior space while minimizing the vehicle size.”
The Go features VW's Blue-e-motion electric drivetrain. It has a 240km range and it measures 3990mm long. It is a further development over the Proton E-mas concept that was showcased by Giugiaro at the 2010 Geneva show.
In developing the E-mas, Giugiaro aimed to have a vehicle with easy access and an ideal seating configuration.
The Tex, which is 4000mm, is smaller than the 4260mm VW Scirocco but they have the same roominess. It is equipped with VW's hybrid plug-in system called Twin Drive. Powering the vehicle is a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with an electric motor. It has a 35km range powered only by electricity.
Volkswagen Group Chairman Prof. and Dr. Martin Winterkorn shared that when it comes to Italian design as well as engineering creativity, the figurehead has always been Italdesign. He added that the brand has long been working closely with Italdesign as partners for a number of decades now. Since Italdesign is part of the Volkswagen Group as a full member, Winterkorn continued, it has become a creative center for the brand as it relates to new concepts or fresh ideas.
By including Italdesign as one of its building blocks, Volkswagen hopes that it will be part of the brand as it moves to reach the pinnacle of the auto industry by 2018. This is the reason, he further added, why the capacity and knowledge of Italdesign in both design and in engineering are very important especially for the Group. Meanwhile Giorgetto Giugiaro related that Italdesign is at the present undergoing a research study to come up with how Volkswagens would look like in the future.
These models will be mainly designed to be driven in the city and include the company’s own interpretation. It will also be part of the company’s debut in the VW Group, he continued. The “Go!” for example, Giugiaro declared, remains to be a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) due to the fact that the passenger room and its ergonomics have been improved. However, they still made sure that the size of the exterior remains small. This has been a long part of his career, he said.
While the length of this vehicle does not exceed 4 meters, it remains to be environment-friendly and is able to deliver the most in terms of luxury, ergonomics, and loading volume. Giugiaro shared that the Tex meanwhile is the company’s very own interpretation of what the future of the sporty Volkswagen is.
Both the Go! and Tex concept are powered using systems from Volkswagen. The Go! for instance utilizes the Blue-e-motion electrical system whereas the Tex is equipped with the plug-in Twïn Drive hybrid.
As a result of the use of these technologies, these two concept cars are guaranteed to give the performance that one needs. Both eco-friendly, the Go! can run as far as 240 km without any emissions with the Tex being able to go 35 km under pure electricity.