Volkswagen is working on a new sedan, which will be larger than the Vento and Made in India
It is well known that the initial products from VW group’s India 2.0 GamePlan will be the Vision IN SUV with a Skoda badging and the Taigun from Volkswagen. Post the launch of these Creta and Seltos competitors, Volkswagen Group is planning to introduce new mid-sized sedans for the country.
Interestingly, a test mule of the Volkswagen Virtus was spotted testing in India recently. Images are credit to automotive enthusiast Omkar, who clicked the images when the car was on test in Sanghvi are of Pune.
The Virtus happens to be Volkswagen’s offering which is available in South American markets. It was launched as a replacement for the previous generation Vento in select international markets. India however won’t be getting this Virtus sedan.
Instead, VW is planning to introduce a different car based upon the India specific MQB A0 IN platform. However, what can be inferred is that this India-specific sedan could be sharing components with the Virtus which is based on the MQB platform, that is sold globally.
The spotting of the Virtus test mule suggests that VW is either testing how the international spec Virtus will respond to Indian driving conditions or has already commenced testing India-specific components on this Virtus test unit. Irrespective of what the case is, what can be confirmed is that the India specific mid sized sedan from VW’s stable is in the works.
Interestingly, Skoda India’s Head, Zac Hollis too recently confirmed via a series of tweets that Skoda will be bringing in a larger than Rapid sedan by the end of 2021. It is highly likely that this Skoda sedan and the VW’s sedan, both will be sharing their architecture (MQB A0 IN) and multiple internal components as well.
Talking about the Virtus, the sedan measure 4.48m in length and has a long wheel base of 2.65m. The front-end design of the Virtus still looks inspired from the current generation Polo, while the rear is dominated by Passat like large tail lamps. On the inside, the Virtus gets an all-digital instrument cluster, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, auto climate control, reversing camera, keyless entry and go and much more.
Standard trims get 17-inch alloys while the sportier top-end GTS trim gets larger 18-inch wheels. Engine options include 1 litre turbo petrol motor (130 PS/200 Nm) which comes paired to a 6-speed torque converter and a 1.5 litre turbo motor (150 PS/250 Nm) (shared with the T-Roc) which comes paired to a 7-speed DCT. Specifications of the India-spec sedan are still under wraps at the moment.
Launch, Pricing and Competition
Once launched, the new sedan from VW will be competing with the likes of Honda City, Hyundai Verna Maruti Ciaz and Skoda’s Rapid replacement. As VW group is working on heavy localizations for its Indian operations, it is highly likely that VW will try and keep the pricing of the sedan aggressive.
We don’t know if VW would like to carry the ‘Vento’ badge forward or replace it with something new. Launch should take place towards the end of 2021 or early 2022 and it will be interesting to see if these new twins from VW group will be able to infuse a new lease of life to the mid sized sedan segment.