With the duo of the Volkswagen Taigun and the Skoda Kushaq nearing their launch very soon, the compact SUV segment - which is already one of the most fiercely contested segments - is going to be infused with some fresh life. The Skoda Kushaq is all slated for its launch in June, 2021, while the Volkswagen Taigun will follow later in August, 2021. Ahead of its launch, IAB reader, Priyank Gurhani, has shared with us some exclusive pictures and a video of both the compact SUVs undergoing their final tests in Pirangut, Pune.
A total of six cars were spotted together, of which five were the Volkswagen Taigun and one was the Skoda Kushaq. Interestingly, although Volkswagen has already revealed the Taigun in full production-spec guise, two of the test mules were still seen wearing camouflage. A look at the alloy wheels suggest these could possibly be lower-spec models of the Taigun, details of which the carmaker is still yet to reveal. It is understood that both the Kushaq and the Taigun were being driven around by top company officials, perhaps for a final check on both the models before they hit the market.
The Skoda Kushaq will be leading the charge under VW Group's India 2.0 project and will be the first car to be underpinned by the MQB-A0-IN platform, an Indian derivate of the Volkswagen's smallest global modular architecture - the MQB-A0. Now in terms of size, it is worth noting that both the Taigun and the Kushaq will be marginally smaller than the Korean duo of the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Creta. However, they will still have the longest wheelbase in class of 2,651mm, which should translate to sufficient interior space, as they have been optimized to suit local preferences.
Both the Volkswagen Taigun and the Skoda Kushaq will be identical under the hood, featuring two petrol engine options. VW Group's 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine will be the mainstay, and it produces 115PS of power and 175Nm of torque. This engine will come mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. There will also be a larger 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol engine that will come mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual. This engine produces 150PS and 250Nm of peak torque.
Although both the SUVs are identical under the skin, and they will even be manufactured alongside each other at Volkswagen's facility in Chakan, near Pune, they will be completely unique in terms of styling and design, with each car catering to their respective brand identity. Due to heavy localization and sharing of essential components with other models, Skoda and Volkswagen should be able to position the compact SUVs quite aggressively in the market. However, there will not be any compromise in terms of quality, as is synonymous with both the brands, and in that regard, they will still have a premium positioning. We expect prices for both the SUVs to range between INR 10-18 lakh (ex-showroom).