Italdesign Giugiaro debuts electric Clipper MPVThu, 06 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800
The Volkswagen T-ROC wasn't the only Geneva Motor Show concept unveiled this week that uses the Golf platform, Italdesign Giugiaro unveiled an MPV concept that managed to turn quite a few heads. Italdesign is owned by Volkswagen, so this design and engineering exercise seemed like a no-brainer, allowing the company to show off an extra concept car in an entirely different wrapper.
The Clipper an all-wheel drive six-seat MPV sitting on the MQB platform, which Volkswagen is keen to expand beyond the Golf and the next-generation Scirocco, and it features two electric motors producing 149-hp each, one for each axle. But it's more than just a static styling exercise, as Italdesign has done quite a few road tests with this prototype, and says that the Clipper can do 335 miles on a single charge, and can reach a top speed of 126 mph.
The batteries are located beneath the floor, with the designers also managing to cram in three rows of two seats each, accessible via four gullwing doors. That's right, this concept features two gullwing doors on each side, a rare feature for an MPV concept, but one that makes sense for a concept vehicle that is only barely longer than a Golf. The third row of seats is obscured a bit by the B-pillar, but amazingly the car doesn't seem cramped on the inside. Of course, those are concept car-style seats, which means they can be far thinner than those required by government safety agencies for production cars, but aside from the doors there is nothing particularly impractical about the concept.
Like the Volkswagen T-ROC concept, the Clipper is based on the Golf.
We liked a few other details in the interior, including an 11-inch touchscreen display mounted on the center console, along with a floating digital instrument cluster that splits up information on to two separate screens. Concept cars can't afford to skimp on infotainment, so the Clipper also includes iPad Minis integrated into the headrests of the first two rows.
The overall design is a bit anonymous when it comes to the front fascia, as if the designers wanted to avoid a particularly recognizable look. thoght the shape of the rear hatch and the tail lights are straight out of Audi's sketchbook. While Italdesign Giugiaro itself doesn't manufacture production cars, we wouldn't be surprised to see the architecture demonstrated in this concept appear in a Volkswagen or Audi car in the next few years. Though probably without the gullwing doors.
By Jay Ramey