Volkswagen is bringing four new SUVs to India by 2021
As is the case with most carmakers in India currently, Volkswagen's renewed strategy for our market is SUV-centric. Last month, Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, a division of VW Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd mentioned, "We will transform Volkswagen into an SUV brand in India." Building further on that, in a statement issued by Knapp last week, he said, "We will showcase our new brand philosophy and strategy for India 2.0 as well as three of our new SUV offerings at the Auto Expo 2020. The first ones of these will be launched in the second quarter of next year and our smallest SUV, nicknamed A0 SUV, will be rolled out in 2021."
So what are these three SUVs he is talking about?
The T-Roc is perhaps the SUV that will catch the most attention at VW's Auto Expo exhibit. Measuring 4.2m in length and sitting on a wheelbase on 2,590mm, the T-Roc goes up against the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Jeep Compass. The T-Roc has been spotted testing in India lately and is expected to draw power from a 1.5-litre TSI petrol good for 150PS of power and 250Nm of torque. The T-Roc will arrive in India via the CBU route and is likely to be priced in the Rs 18-24 lakh bracket.
The Tiguan Allspace that we spotted on the test last week will also be present at the 2020 Auto Expo and will be one of the first launches from VW India for 2020. The Allspace is a seven-seater variant of the Tiguan that is likely to replace the five-seater counterpart that is currently on sale in India. It will be powered by a 2.0-litre TSI 4-cylinder direct-injection turbo-petrol with an output of 180PS and 320Nm.
The Tiguan Allspace will be placed above its five-seater sister and we expect the pricing to lie in the Rs 30-35 lakh bracket, where it will take on the likes of the Honda CR-V, the Isuzu MU-X and the Skoda Kodiaq.
One of Volkswagen India's all-time favourites, the Touareg nameplate will be a comeback with the third-generation model that was launched globally in 2018. It shares its underpinnings with other luxury SUVs like the Audi Q7 and the Bentley Bentayga, which are based on the MLB Evo platform. In line with VW's (likely) no-diesel policy for India, the Touareg headed our way will be powered by a 3.0 V6 TFSI petrol engine.
The fourth SUV/crossover and the most important for VW India will be the T-Cross. The India-spec model will wear a design similar to the T-Cross sold in Europe, however, it will be based on the indigenised MQB A0 platform dubbed the A0 IN. It will share underpinnings and powertrains with the India-spec Skoda Kamiq that we spotted testing a few day back in India. The T-Cross will be missing from VW's Auto Expo line-up to let the Kamiq enjoy the limelight as the first fruit of Skoda-VW's India 2.0 strategy.
The T-Cross will be VW's answer to the upcoming 2020 Hyundai Creta, the Kia Seltos and the Nissan Kicks, and will aim to trump the competition with class-leading safety features and creature comforts. Pricing will be a key concern, which the indigenous A0 IN platform will address, and we hope it hits the mark.
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