The images – accessed from the Chinese patent office by enthusiast website Auto Sohu – appear almost identical to the Volkswagen Taigun concept that debuted at October’s Sao Paulo motor show in Brazil, although with a few subtle differences.
While the outline of the headlights is the same, the vehicle in the patent images features a unique lamp assembly and a distinctive LED daytime running light layout.
The side-on patent image reveals an indicator lamp on the Volkswagen Taigun’s wing mirror where the concept had none, and while the alloy wheels are identical in design to those of the show car, they are noticeably smaller in the patent shots with more space between the tyres and the arches.
The Taigun in the new images also features four ribs on its roof, where the concept’s lid was smooth.
Tipped to enter production either late this year or in 2014, the Volkswagen Taigun will sit below the Tiguan in the German manufacturer’s line-up, targeting the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax, Peugeot 2008 and Subaru XV.
At 3859mm long, 1728mm wide, 1570mm tall and riding on a 2470mm wheelbase, the Taigun concept is more than half a metre shorter than the Tiguan, roughly similar in size to the Mini Countryman.
The concept’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder direct injection turbocharged petrol engine produces 81kW of power and 175Nm of torque, helping the 985kg four-seater from 0-100km/h in 9.2 seconds, while using 4.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.
The boot swallows 280 litres of cargo and expands to 987L with the rear seats folded forwards.