Volkswagen India is working on a sub-4-metre crossover SUV for India, in order to strengthen its sales in our market
The sub-4-metre SUV segment is the most hotly contested market space in India, which has prompted every carmaker to enter the segment. Manufacturers that don’t have one in their line-up, like Toyota, Kia, Nissan, and Renault, are racing to launch one soon. After that, Volkswagen and Skoda will be the only mainstream carmaker in our country to not have a mass-market subcompact SUV in its range.
Volkswagen, however, is already working on developing new cars for India under the India 3.0 project, which will not only include sub-4-metre SUVs, but mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well. The company had previously stated that it had plans to grab 5 per cent share in the passenger car market in India (VW and Skoda combined), which is quite far from the 0.9 and 0.5 for VW and Skoda, respectively, in FY2019-20.
To attract more customers, Volkswagen is already working on a localised version of the MQB – A0 platform, dubbed MQB A0 IN. Earlier this year, at Auto Expo 2020, we saw the VW Taigun in near-production form. It will be the first SUV to be built on that platform, and will compete against Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Renault Duster, etc., when it launches in late 2021.
VW is also working on a sub-4-metre SUV based on the same MQB A0 platform, trimmed a little to fit in the size bracket. Due to the tax benefits on cars below 4 metres in length, VW will be able to price it competitively against rivals like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Ford EcoSport, and Tata Nexon.
According to reports, the upcoming subcompact SUV will launch in India under the Skoda brand first, followed later by VW. The SUVs are expected to be powered by the same 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that powers the VW Polo, Vento and Skoda Rapid, but it a higher state of tune – 115 PS and 200 Nm of peak power and torque, respectively.
Transmission options are expected to comprise of 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic, and sadly, there won’t be a dual-clutch on offer. While there is no official confirmation on the launch timeline, reports suggest that we will see the SUV arrive in India in 2022.
*images for representation only