The Volkswagen group has just unveiled its India 2.0 strategy, which will be led by Skoda. Under the new strategy, Volkswagen will operate mainly in the 4 meter+ segments, which means that vehicles, such as the Polo and Ameo could be eliminated from the group’s product range in the next couple of years. Cars such as the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento will get a new lease of life, though. In 2021, the all-new Skoda Rapid is expected, along with the next-generation Volkswagen Vento. Both cars will be based on a new, MQB A0 platform engineered by Skoda for emerging markets, such as India and Brazil.
The new Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento sedans will get totally fresh styling, and are likely to see major improvements in all areas. The new cars will be engineering keeping a possible hybrid/electric future in mind. At the outset though, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are likely. Volkswagen will soon begin manufacturing the 1 litre-3 cylinder TSI turbocharged petrol engine in India. The motor is likely to pump out about 115 Bhp on the next-generation Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento. Both manual and twin clutch automatic gearboxes are likely to be offered with this engine.
The diesel engine will continue to be the 1.5-litre TDI turbocharged motor but with heavy re-engineering to accommodate emission-cutting equipment. Both the petrol and diesel engines will be Bharat Stage 6 emission norms ready. The diesel variants of the new Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid are likely to be priced much higher than the petrol powered options thanks to the addition of complex emission control equipment. Both cars are expected to be priced at slight premiums over other C-Segment sedans, a strategy that the Volkswagen group has always followed in the Indian market. To justify the premiums, the new cars had better be seriously loaded.