While Seat is not planning on entering the Indian market as of yet, the Arona is probably being used for internal benchmarking purposes on the MQB A0 IN architecture
A camouflaged test mule of what appears to be the Seat Arona has been spotted in Sissu, Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh. For the uninformed, Seat is a Spanish automobile manufacturing company that is also parented by the Volkswagen Group. The carmaker has no plans to enter the Indian market as of yet.
Then why is its Arona compact SUV being tested on Indian roads? Well, that’s probably because the said SUV is based on the MQB A0 platform, and is likely being used for internal benchmarking purposes. It could also be a lab rat for made-in-India components of VW Group’s modular platform. It should be noted that the test mule featured a left-hand drive configuration.
This is not the first time that the Seat Arona has been spied on test in the country, since it was previously snapped testing in Pune in August this year. The Volkswagen Group is currently in the process of developing a heavily localised cost-effective version of the MQB A0 platform, known as the MQB A0 IN.
The said architecture will be used by future Skoda and Volkswagen SUVs in the country. The first products to be based on this platform will be the upcoming Skoda Vision IN, as well as the Volkswagen Taigun. The two cars will be pitted against the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Renault Duster and Nissan Kicks in the Indian market.
Powering the production-ready Vision IN and Taigun will be a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI turbo-petrol engine, as well as a 1.5-litre four-cylinder TSI turbo-petrol unit. The 1.0-litre motor will be the same engine that is offered with the Rapid, which puts out 110 PS of max power along with 175 Nm of peak torque.
On the other hand, the 1.5-litre TSI unit will be the same engine that performs duties on the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen T-Roc, and will likely be offered in the same state of tune, i.e. 150 PS/250 Nm. The transmission options could include a 6-speed manual gearbox, as well as an optional 7-speed DSG auto.