Snapshot – Volkswagen is lining up a bunch of new cars for the Indian car market. The new launch list will see the reintroduction of a few cars while other models will make their debuts for the first time here. Notably, the automaker is working on two made-for-India models, ones that seek to widen the German brand’s footprint here. Here’s the lowdown.
The Beetle, in its last generation, was sold in India as a completely built unit. The car’s purpose was straightforward. It was brought to India to build the Volkswagen brand, just as the German automaker entered the country on the back of a top-down approach. Back then, the Beetle used a five cylinder petrol motor. Now though, the latest generation Beetle is also available with diesel power, with the 2.0 liter TDI motor powering it. This is what India is likely to receive later this year, along with a 6 speed twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox. Internationally, the car is also sold with a 2 liter TSI turbo petrol engine. This car is likely to be priced between 20-30 lakh rupees factoring in the high import duty that it will be saddled with.
The 8th generation Volkswagen Passat will make its India debut towards end-2015. The new Passat looks sharper than the outgoing version and that’s only half the story. Volkswagen has managed to keep the new car’s overall length smaller than the outgoing model, but has bumped up the space that the new model delivers on its innards by lengthening the wheelbase. The car also offers a slew of new features, and more powerful, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. In terms of the platform, the new Passat now sits on the Volkswagen group’s MQB platform.
The next-generation Tiguan is in the works and the compact SUV is expected to arrive in India sometime next year, after its Frankfurt Motor Show debut later this year. The new Tiguan is likely to add two more seats, in effect becoming a larger car that can seat seven adults. Turbocharged petrol and diesel engines will be offered, with an all wheel drive layout on the top-end models. With the MQB platform underpinning this compact SUV, the Tiguan will be offered with a front wheel drive layout on the lower variants. In terms of pricing, expect the Tiguan to be priced above the Yeti, but below the 25 lakh rupee mark. If the Tiguan hits bulls eye, Volkswagen India will gain a foothold in the Indian luxury SUV segment.
Volkswagen is developing a compact SUV, presumably in the sub-4 meter space, specifically for the Indian car market. This SUV will either be based on the PQ25 platform, which underpins the current Polo, or the A0 platform, which is used by the Taigun. The wheelbase of the Taigun could be stretched to meet Indian requirements. The new SUV is expected to be heavily localized in order to deliver a competitive price tag for the price sensitive Indian car market. With the likes of the Polo and Vento not going great guns as far as volumes are concerned, the compact SUV is what the German car maker will be looking forward to as far as the big numbers are concerned. A launch in 2017 is likely, with price positioning expected to be in Renault Duster territory.
A compact sedan based on the Vento is in the works for a 2016 launch. Dubbed the Polo Stuffe for now, the new car will pitchfork Volkswagen into a segment that is witnessing frenetic action, opening up the possibility for big volumes. The compact sedan from Volkswagen will also benefit from the newly introduced 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engine, which is now produced in India. The car is also expected to offer the 1.2 liter TSI turbocharged petrol engine, which could be a good differentiator in a segment where perky performance is often the last thing on an automaker’s mind.