Snapshot – German automaker Volkswagen knows the huge potential that the Indian car market holds in terms of sales volumes, which is an area where the automaker is quite weak at. Amends have been lined up and in the next three years, a slew of Volkswagen cars will be launched to populate, and perhaps thrive, in most segments that host cars priced under 30 lakh rupees. CarToq details the revised car launch pipeline from Volkswagen India.
Volkswagen Vento Facelift
Volkswagen India will launch the facelifted Vento C-Segment sedan in the coming days. The car will get mild cosmetic updates borrowed from the Polo Facelift. In terms of mechanicals, the changes will be quite extensive as the 1.6 liter-4 cylinder TDI turbo diesel engine makes way for the new 1.5 liter TDI unit. While power and torque figures, at 103 Bhp-250 Nm remain unchanged, the motor also gains a 6 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. The 1.2 liter TSI and 1.6 liter MPI petrol engines will be retained, along with 7 speed DSG automatic and 5 speed manual transmissions respectively.
Volkswagen India isn’t selling the Passat in India anymore and the stage is set for the 2015 B8 Passat, which was unveiled earlier this year, to make it to Indian shores next year. Dimensionally, the new, 2015 Passat is smaller than the outgoing model but comes with more space on the inside, along with a boat load of new features. The 2015 Passat will be assembled in India from CKD kits and the car will continue to fly the Volkswagen flag as a flagship model. A price close to the 32 lakh rupee mark is likely for the new Passat.
The Jetta has been a decent performer for Volkswagen in India’s D-Segment sedan space. Volkswagen will launch the facelifted Jetta in India next year. The facelifted Jetta has already been launched internationally and the car continues to operate on the PQ35 platform. The front and rear ends of the 2015 Jetta see a minor makeover and so do the interiors. The engine options are retained, albeit with higher outputs. The Jetta will be sold with manual and automatic transmission options, and will be imported through the CKD route, with assembly happening at India.
A brand builder whole and soul, the new Beetle is long overdue for India. The new Beetle to be sold sold here is expected to be powered by a 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engine (140 Bhp-320 Nm), mated to a 6 speed DSG dual clutch automatic transmission. To be imported as a completely built unit (CBU), expect the new Beetle to be as pricey as ever, with a price tag pegged above the 20 lakh rupee mark. The new Beetle will square off against the likes of the 2014 Mini range and the upcoming Fiat 500 Abarth hatchbacks.
Volkswagen will give the Vento an all-new top hat, to make it stand apart from the Polo hatchback. The new top hat for the Vento is a part of Volkswagen’s strategy to increase the differentiation among its cars sold here. Apart from the new top hat design, on whether the Vento will adopt the MQB platform on the lines of the next-generation Polo, which is also due in 2016, remains unknown for now.
Vento Based Sub-4 Meter Compact Sedan
The PQ25 platform of the Polo hatchback is expected to spawn a new, sub-4 meter compact sedan that will be sandwiched between the Polo and the Vento, as Volkswagen’s new volumes puller. The sub-4 meter compact sedan is likely to use 1.2 liter TSI turbo petrol and 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engines, given the fact that both engines qualify for use in sub-4 meter cars seeking excise duty benefits. Like the Vento with the new top hat, the compact sedan will also get a different design that helps it stand apart from its siblings. Expect the Vento based compact sedan to sit slightly above the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze, in line with Volkswagen’s upmarket brand positioning.
PQ25 platform based Compact SUV
The real game changer for Volkswagen in India could be the PQ25 platform based compact SUV that the German automaker is lining up for India in 2017. Volkswagen has been missing-in-action in the booming compact SUV segment and the PQ25 based offering is set to fill in the void and create some much needed traction at the hustings. While details of the new compact SUV bearing the VW badge remain scarce for now, turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine options are a given considering that it is 2017 we’re talking about. A price tag south of 10 lakh rupees and a design that will mimic the newer Volkswagen compact SUV concepts is likely for the new product for India from Wolfsburg.
Via AutocarIndia September 2014 Print Issue