In India, the Volkswagen Vento has been around for a while now. And while it is quite a fine mid-size sedan, it is getting a bit old in the tooth when compared to some of its rivals. Of course, the same is the case when it comes to the outgoing Polo hatchback and the Skoda Rapid sedan. Thankfully for the German auto giant, it is already working on new products for the Indian market. The Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq are just around the corner, while there is a successor for the Vento as well.
Under the Volkswagen Group’s India 2.0 product offensive, there are multiple new cars planned for our market. And if all the ducks are in a row, an all-new Volkswagen mid-size sedan is en route as well. Currently, the German marque sells the Virtus in some international markets (including South America). The Volkswagen Virtus, like the outgoing Vento, is based on the Polo hatchback – albeit the latest iteration. In the past few weeks, spy shots have emerged showing test mules of the Volkswagen Virtus on Indian roads. This could well be an indication of what is to come – a successor to the aging Vento based on the latest-gen Polo.
Of course, Volkswagen won’t be bringing in the Virtus as it is. However, what the automaker will likely do is utilize the India-specific MQB-A0-IN platform that it already has at hand. In fact, it is this very architecture that underpins the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq. Given that the new Virtus is larger (in length and wheelbase) than the outgoing Vento, VW will mostly use the same platform for its new India-bound mid-size sedan. Therefore, not only with the new Virtus-based sedan be more spacious than the Vento, but it will also appeal to those in the higher echelon of the premium sedan market.
However, since it will be a physically bigger car than the one it replaces, the Volkswagen Vento’s successor will command a heftier price tag. Speculatively speaking, the new model should be priced along the same lines as the fifth-gen Honda City and new Hyundai Verna. To keep costs from going any higher, Volkswagen will not be introducing any new powertrain. Instead, the all-new mid-size sedan will likely use the engines found in the Taigun SUV. This means that there will be a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI motor with 113hp and 175Nm of torque and probably a 1.5-liter four-cylinder TSI with 148hp and 250Nm of torque. Gearbox choices will mostly be similar, too: so, a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
On the design front, the Volkswagen Virtus borrows a lot from the sixth-generation Polo hatchback. Therefore, the front of the Virtus looks like a carbon copy of the Polo that it is based on. On a side note, VW might tweak the grille design a little for India, though.
Just like the outgoing Vento, the Virtus distinguishes itself more clearly when viewed from the side and rear. The 4.48-meter-long body certainly makes a case for itself, with larger rear doors and distinctively sloped rear pillars. At the rear, the Virtus gets a subtle bootlip spoiler, sleek LED tail lamps, and a chrome bumper ornament.
The interior design is typically Volkswagen, albeit from their new series of cars. Nothing is too fancy nor of poor taste, while two digital screens occupy much of your attention. We can expect Volkswagen to retain the Taigun’s 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit display plus the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment head unit in the India-bound Vento replacement. As expected, the infotainment system will feature Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, along with the brand’s My Volkswagen Connect app. Furthermore, the new sedan will offer more rear legroom and kneeroom than its predecessor. The successor to the Volkswagen Vento is destined for our shores some time in the first quarter of next year.