Slavia, Kushaq to drive Skoda's India story, says Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess
Ahead of Skoda Slavia's unveiling in India, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has expressed confidence that the mid-size premium sedan, along with the Kushaq SUV will bolster the Czech carmaker's position in India. Skoda has showcased the Slavia, albeit in camouflage, ahead of its official debut next month. It is seen as a replacement for Skoda's other popular compact sedan Rapid.
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Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess was recently seen taking a test drive of the already launched Skoda Kushaq SUV. He was accompanied by Lubomir Antos, who Diess considers as the father of the Kushaq SUV.
Diess said, “Indians demand cars like the Skoda Kushaq. Compact sized, sharp design, robust and spacious interior. 10,000 cars were ordered already! It is made in India for India on our global MQB platform."
“With the Kushaq and the coming Slavia, Skoda brings momentum to the Indian market. VW will push this with the Taigun and a notchback model as well," he added, hinting at the upcoming Volkswagen premium mid-size sedan, likely to be called Virtus, which will rival 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.
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. Skoda has already confirmed that the Salvia will be offered with the same engines that power Kushaq. It will come with a 1.0-litre TSI engine is capable of producing 113 hp of power from its three cylinders. The 1.5-litre four-cylinder TSI has an output of 148 hp. The engines will be mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission as well as a seven-speed DSG gearbox for the 1.5-litre unit.