Volkswagen India is going to announce a new global sedan on March 8, 2022. The model is going to be the all-new Volkswagen Virtus, a car that will share many things — save the frontal and rear design, badges, and minute details — with the soon-to-be-launched Skoda Slavia. It will replace the Polo-based Volkswagen Vento, a car that’s been in the carmaker’s line-up for ages.
The photo seen is that of the pre-facelift Virtus, an MQB-platform car that was launched in select markets only. The new VW Virtus will be based on the heavily localised MQB-A0-IN platform which underpins the VW Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, and the upcoming Skoda Slavia (which we’ll drive later this month). As has been the case in the past, in comparison with the Skoda counterpart, there will be some changes on the Virtus including the branding, overall design, trim levels.
We expect VW to offer the Virtus with both the turbocharged petrol engines available with the Kushaq: 1.0-litre TSI and 1.5-litre TSI. Similarly, gearbox choices will include a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic (torque converter on the 1-litre TSI) and a 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox on the 1.5-litre TSI). The latter is a 150hp unit that’s not just likely to satiate the enthusiasts’ never-ending desire for a powerful car but also features clever cylinder deactivation tech that, when not under load, can help maximise fuel economy, too.
If you’re looking at upgrading from the Vento or the Rapid, the major difference is going to be the space upgrade that the Slavia offers — and that will be the case with the VW Virtus as well. There will be no diesel engines, but both petrol units seem fairly potent; so it’s safe to say that you won’t miss much. The long list of features and standard equipment, especially on the top-spec variant, will make the deal even sweeter.
What do we think?
It’s too soon to say how the VW Virtus will be, especially since I’m yet to drive the production-spec Slavia. But one thing that I did notice while driving the Kushaq (1.5-litre, manual) was that, while it drove well, for the most part, it does feel a little disconnected in comparison to the Polo and Vento — or the outgoing Rapid, for that matter. Plus, it remains to be seen how these fare in the long run. But if there’s one thing that we can be certain of it is that with the arrival of the Slavia/Virtus duo, the sedan space is sure to become very exciting — way more than it has been in the last few years.