After Kushaq and Taigun, Skoda and Volkswagen to renew rivalry in sedan segment
Skoda and Volkswagen, though part of the same group of carmakers, is set to renew rivalry in India in a new segment. After launching their first sub-compact SUVs in the market, Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun, the two carmakers are now all set to launch their new mid-size premium sedans in the country.
Skoda has already confirmed the new sedan will be called Slavia and is perceived as a successor to its popular Rapid sedan. It is likely to be introduced for Indian customers by the end of this year. Meanwhile, Volkswagen is already working on its new sedan, which will share a lot of similarities with the Slavia. Both sedans are expected to take on some of the heavyweights in the segment like the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna.
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Skoda and Volkswagen have been present in the sedan segment for years with popular model like Rapid, Octavia or Vento and Passat. But Slavia and Virtus may offer the carmakers with an opportunity to rejuvenate the popular mid-size premium sedan segment which has seen decline over the years due to rise of SUVs in the country.
Skoda will introduce Slavia in India before anywhere else in the world. It is likely to be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform that also underpins the recently-launched Kushaq. Skoda is likely to equip the sedan with its turbo petrol units, possibly sourced from the Kushaq SUV, and may come mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Volkswagen Virtus, which is likely to share the MQB-A0-IN platform with Skoda Slavia, is seen as the carmaker's other popular sedan Vento. The new sedan from the German carmaker may get the same 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit sourced from Taigun SUV. The engine may come mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Both cars are expected to share a lot of features with the new Kushaq and Taigun SUVs. So expect the Slavia and Virtus to offer premium looking cabin with features like large infotainment screen, multiple speakers, host of connectivity options and charging points as well.