Volkswagen is days away from launching the Ameo, a sub-4 meter compact sedan. Even before the official unveil, the car has leaked onto the interweb. This made-for-India car is the first such model from Volkswagen. The Ameo is also the first-ever sub-4 meter car from the German automaker.
The compact will take on the likes of the Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze. The Ameo shares the PQ25 platform with the likes of the Polo and Vento, and is expected to share much of the parts including engines and gearboxes. Notably, the Ameo will sit in between the Polo and Vento in terms of price and positioning.
Why should the Dzire and Amaze be worried?
The Ameo is expected to bring some key strengths of the Volkswagen brand to the compact sedan class, and these strengths have never been seen in the segment so far. Compact sedans have always had this vibe of being inexpensive, and even flimsy. The Ameo could change that, and here’s how.
It looks great…
Getting the proportions right on a compact sedan is hard, more so since designers need to squeeze in a sedan form factor in a length of under 4 meters. This makes most compact sedans look ungainly. From the completely uncamouflaged leak, it appears that Volkswagen has pulled off a coup when it comes to the design of the Ameo.
The boot of the car looks beautifully integrated, something that can’t be said of most compact sedans sold in India. Also, the Vento doesn’t look excessively tall, like other compact sedans do. If you’re in the market looking for a tasteful looking car that happens to be a compact sedan, the Ameo may just be the car you’re after.
It should be solid…
Among hatchbacks and C-Segment sedans sold in India, Volkswagen cars lead in terms of build quality and the solidity they exude. If Volkswagen has retained these characteristics on the Ameo, the car could well be the most solid compact sedan around. This is a big deal in a class where most cars feel “too light” to inspire confidence. So, for those who want a sturdy compact sedan, the Ameo could tick all the right boxes.
It should be quite quick…
Volkswagen’s prided itself on building quick cars, which are usually the fastest in their segments. The Polo GT twins and the Vento TSI/TDI come to mind. Given that the Ameo will share its engines with the Polo/Vento, expect the car to be properly quick. With the Ford Figo Aspire Diesel raising the bar, by clocking a sub-10 second 0-100 Kph sprint time, it’s likely for VW to pack in the 1.5 TDI turbo diesel with 103 Bhp-250 Nm, and the 1.2 TSI turbo petrol motor with 103 Bhp-175 Nm into the Ameo.
Volkswagen = Tech laden
The DQ200 DSG twin clutch gearbox, with its lightning quick gear shifts remains the benchmark among fast shifting automatic gearboxes. This option is expected to be offered on the Ameo’s petrol variants. If VW could do a Vento Diesel DSG with the Ameo, even the diesel variants of the compact sedan could get such a gearbox.
The Polo came out as one of the better built cars in the Global NCAP crash tests, on the back of it’s structural strength. Considering that the Ameo is essentially a hatchback version of the Polo, the tough body is likely to be carried over. If twin airbags are standard as is the case on the Figo Aspire, the Ameo will be one of the safer cars in its segment.
[Image courtesy Motorbeam]