VW Virtus launched in India to fight for sedan supremacy
Sedans are dying a painful, slow death in most markets around the world. Manufacturers are diverting all their attention and money towards SUVs and crossovers but in India, Skoda and VW are trying to give the three-box formula yet another shot. It started with the Skoda Slavia and now, VW has jumped into the ring with the 2022 VW Virtus.
Coming up with a completely new sedan is a gutsy move, for a market like India where crossovers have completely taken over. For this endeavour to make financial sense, VW Virtus, and the Slavia rides on the same localized MQB A0 IN platform, that underpins the Skoda Kushaq and VW Taigun crossovers.
The VW Virtus comes with a design that announces its VW roots proudly. The design is like other VW sedans. At 4,561 mm long, the Virtus is compact in its dimensions, yet it comes with a decent 2,651 mm of wheelbase. This should liberate a decent amount of space inside the vehicle. Yet another advantage of a three-box design is a large boot. The Virtus scores on this department with a large 521-litre boot.
The top model of the Virtus range is called the Virtus GT. It has design elements including red accents and aluminum pedals akin to the full-fat GTI Volkswagens available internationally. It is also decently kitted with wireless phone charging, ventilated seats, an eight-inch digital instrument display, fully automatic climate control, an eight-speaker audio unit, and a sunroof.
Powering the small sedan is a set of small engines. The standard motor is a tiny 1.0-litre 3-cylinder unit, but with a turbo strapped on it. This produces 115 hp and 175 Nm of torque. Stepping up the game is a 4-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged unit that churns out 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. This engine also comes with cylinder deactivation tech to save fuel. A very important feature as the local fuel prices are cruising through the stratosphere.
The base engine gets either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque-converter automatic. The larger 1.5 on the other hand, can be paired with a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DSG.
India’s sedan market offers slim pickings to all manufacturers. Only established names like Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Suzuki Dzire sell in somewhat decent numbers. The VW Virtus, and the Skoda Slavia, have a lot of work to do to claw back some of the sales eaten up by the crossovers.
VW Virtus will be a good value-oriented addition to the VW’s Middle Eastern line-up but no confirmation on its arrival is out yet.
What do you think?