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VW concept looks off-road


Viewed from behind, the Volkswagen Concept A could be just another blue-sky attempt at exploring the weirder elements of baby SUV design.

News from Jonathan Hawley, in Geneva for CarPoint

But don't be fooled. The usual rotating turntable on which the Concept A was displayed at the Geneva motor show was also able to spin around and show the front end, which is a clear indicator of how the forthcoming Golf-based Volkswagen off-road will look.

The styling of the Concept A is a radical departure for Volkswagen's normally conservative approach, which has seen the last five Golf models evolve from basically the same elements.

But the German company has already signalled its intentions to go a bit wild with the deep V-shaped grilles of the latest Passat and Jetta. The Concept A takes that ball, adds even more slats and an alloy finish, and runs with it.

Instead of a semi-fastback roofline and "suicide" rear-hinged back doors, the BMW X3 rival will have a more conventional wagon body. Think a scaled-down Touareg with a more sporty look to it, and you're more than halfway there.

Not that the Concept A is exactly small because at 4350mm long it is 145mm longer than a Golf and the production car is likely to be longer again with proper bumpers. It is also 1854mm wide from one flared wheel arch to the other, which could well be excessive in production trim.

Sadly, the Concept A's interior is unlikely to find its way into a road-going version. It has a attractive and coolly high-tech mixture of alloy trim and black leather upholstery, and the driver is faced with a single round dial housing speedometer, tack and satellite navigation display.

The show car was powered by Volkswagen's 1.4-litre TSI engine featuring both supercharger and turbo. There was another twist, however, with the fuel source being compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of gasoline.

The Concept A engine's power and torque outputs of 110kW and 220Nm are outstanding for its small capacity, and compare with the 103kW developed by the same engine (but petrol-powered) that will go into the Golf-based Touran wagon in Europe within months.


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