Italdesign Tex Concept (2011)
Italdesign Tex Concept
Four real seats, front wheel drive and a gently aggressive line, the Tex fits into a long tradition of Volkswagen brand sports cars.
"We designed the Tex in actual fact thinking to the Volkswagen sports cars of the years to come," commented Fabrizio Giugiaro, deputy chairman and style manager of Italdesign Giugiaro. "We intentionally kept a family feeling that would immediately identify it as a Wolfsburg product close to production. No visionary or futuristic choice was made, but it is rather a natural evolution of today's canons with the addition of a few technologies that will shortly become available on the market."
Compact, very low (1355 mm in height) and 1750 mm wide, the Tex at first glance looks like a sports car with great grip on the road, stressed by the large 19" wheels at the ends and generous wheel arches.
Its set-up is that of a classic two-door coupé whose clearly sporty personality is emphasised by an aggressive front and its rear flaunting two spoilers.
The side view is marked by lines that sculpt the doors next to the air exit of the front wheels and its waistline that rises up toward the tail.
The front is distinguished by a slender grille that encloses the light clusters in an unprecedented trapezoidal shape and three air intakes in the bumper/spoiler zone, necessary for cooling the brake discs and 1.4-litre turbo engine. The VW badge sits in the centre of the grille and is optically underscored by the V-shaped groove of the bonnet. Windscreen and roof are a single piece of glass that becomes dark electronically.
The large rear window dominates the rear and accommodates two spoilers, with the windscreen wiper housed in one at the bottom. Like the Go! previously, the light clusters are under the windscreen and are invisible when the panel is off. Access to the luggage compartment is permitted by raising just the rear window and, once it is open, the light indicators are repeated by the two supplementary tail lights located in the lower part of the bumper, at the sides of the rear air intake that also contains the rear fog lights.
As in the Go!, the Tex's interiors have also been designed to offer the occupants maximum space and maximum ergonomics. The passenger compartment is definitely geared to the driver. All of the instruments are positioned in a functional manner and wrap around the driver so as to leave the passenger an incredible sensation of space. The large dashboard containing the controls and driving information grows smaller as it approaches the door panels so as to make getting in and out of the passenger compartment easier.
"We designed the interiors so that the first sensation would be that of entering a sports car," continued Fabrizio Giugiaro. "The driver has to be able to find himself, and this is why we chose finish details and elements that refer back to the classic idea of the sports car. We have adopted the large gear knob and leather interiors, with the speedometer and rev counter situated in the classic position behind the steering wheel and with 'analogue' graphics, precisely for that reason".
If the outfitting is classic in style, the contents are instead full of the maximum technology available today. All of the controls and indicators are housed in LCD screens, as is the infotainment console put on a touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard, set in a transparent structure that lays bare the structure.
The dashboard is separated from the central tunnel, an unusual solution for a car, but wraps around the driver with a graphic and colour continuity.
The two rear seats are independent and can be folded down.
STRONG HEART, GENTLE SOUL
The Tex is fitted out with the hybrid plug-in system called Twïn Drive conceived and developed by Volkswagen.
The Twïn Drive couples a 1.4-litre turbo internal combustion engine with a battery-powered 85 kW peak electrical system capable of developing 400 Nm when used combined together.
It has front-wheel drive with a 7-gear Direct Shift gearbox with gearshifting on the steering wheel.
Its performance is that of a pure sports car. The Tex is able to reach 100 km/h from a standstill in about 6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 220 km/h.
However, in this case sportiness and eco-friendliness are not worlds apart. The Tex is able to cover approximately 35 km in the totally electric mode, mostly enough for getting around during the day.