Skoda introduced a new concept called the Skoda Vision X at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show last week. Its production version, albeit in a modified form, is an India-bound model.
The Volkswagen Group has finally decided to localise the MQB platform in India. The company is expected to make an announcement regarding this matter later this month. Skoda will lead the charge in the development and rollout of the MQB platform-based locally manufactured models in our country.
Speaking to Autocar India about the first locally manufactured MQB platform-based model for India, Oliver Stefani, Skoda’s Head of Design, said: “What we are looking at is a car that will draw inspiration from the Vision X, but, after my recent visit to India, I have realised we would need to offer more space in the rear”.
What Skoda’s design chief is indicating is that the Skoda Vision X concept’s production version could arrive in India in a long-wheelbase version. The FAW-Volkswagen joint venture company plans to launch the VW T-Roc the same way in China this year. The report suggests that after the new Skoda small SUV, a new Volkswagen small SUV similar to the VW T-Cross (TBA) will follow. This model could share some body panels with the Skoda Vision X concept’s production version to bring the costs down. Skoda and Volkswagen will no longer launch rebadged products, though.
After the aforementioned Hyundai Creta rivals, the next-gen VW Vento and the next-gen Skoda Rapid are likely to follow. The sixth-gen VW Polo will follow later, by which time the Volkswagen Group will have achieved a high level of localisation. Because of the irrational tax structure that imposes a higher cess on cars exceeding four metres in length, Volkswagen will have to reduce the car’s length from 4,053 mm to 4,000 mm or lower. The next-gen Skoda Fabia is also expected in India.
The locally manufactured next-gen hatchback and sedan duos from Skoda and Volkswagen in India are unlikely to get a diesel engine. Volkswagen could rely on 1.0-litre MPI naturally aspirated and 1.0-litre TSI turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engines. The latter may arrive as a replacement for the existing 1.2-litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. No replacement is planned for the 1.5-litre TDI diesel engine. Volkswagen and Skoda aren’t alone in taking the decision to go petrol-only for their small cars, Toyota is mulling the same in case of the Toyota Yaris.
[Source: Autocar India]