VW Golf coming to India – we have a spy shot of the car testing!
As spending power among the teeming middle classes of India rise, the country’s car market is slowly warming up to premium hatchbacks. While we have the likes of the Hyundai i20, Fiat Grand Punto 90 HP and the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI/TDI models at one end of the spectrum (sub 10 lakhs), the likes of the BMW 1-Series and the Mercedes Benz A-Class occupy the other end (above 20 lakhs). This has created a large, empty space between 10-20 lakhs rupees, a space that a car maker willing to take a risk or two can very well experiment with.
Time and again, the 2013 Volkswagen Golf MK7, the 7th generation model of a global best seller, has been spotted testing in India, alongside the 2013 Skoda Octavia. Volkswagen India has been mum about its plans for the Golf MK7. Predictably, the discourse around the test mules has centered on the belief that the car on-test is a global test mule, on test for performance evaluation in tropical conditions. After interacting with reliable sources, we’ve reached a different conclusion.
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf MK7 will be launched in India, with the launch scheduled to happen in the second half of 2015, somewhere close to the festive season of that year. CKD assembly for the car is likely as the MQB platform has already arrived into India through the 2013 Skoda Octavia. This move seems apparent given the volume projections that Volkswagen has aimed at for the Golf MK7 in India. 2014 will see another MQB platform car in the form of the Audi A3.
In that sense, the Golf MK7 will be the third or fourth MQB car for the Indian car market, considering that the Volkswagen Taigun compact SUV is also due for 2015. Volkswagen’s MQB platform, known for its parts and production facility sharing, is expected to give the German car maker enough breathing space to price the Golf attractively. Turbo petrol and diesel engines, and transmissions of the Golf MK7 will be shared with the likes of the 2013 Octavia and Audi A3 sedans, a move that will drive down costs. Pricing is likely to be pegged north of 10 lakh rupees.
For now, this is pretty much the information we have with us regarding the Golf MK7. Watch this space for other specific details about this exciting, new premium hatchback, one whose success or failure could define the future of premium hatchbacks in India.