Spied: Volkswagen Virtus caught testing in India, Vento replacement for Malaysia?
CY Foong · Jan 5, 2021 06:00 PM
With news of the Volkswagen Vento finally discontinued in Malaysia out of the way, let’s move on to a scoop on its potential replacement. A Volkswagen Virtus in left-hand drive has been spotted by the Indian media very recently, so does this mean that the Virtus is a go for our market?
Well, it’s not exactly a straightforward answer because this particular Virtus is most likely used as a test mule by Volkswagen India. There will be some differences between the Indian-spec Virtus from the rest of the world, apart from switching the steering wheel of course.
One difference between the Indian-spec Virtus and the Latin American-spec (LATAM) Virtus would be a slight modification in the platform. Volkswagen plans to introduce a different car that would utilise the India-specific MQB A0 IN platform.
That could mean a slightly larger dimension than the LATAM Virtus. However, both the Indian and LATAM Virtus could share some components and it also likely the looks will be retained for both markets.
According to Rushlane, Skoda India’s Head, Zac Hollis has confirmed in a series of tweets that a larger Skoda Rapid is heading into India at the end of 2021. Based on this, it’s highly likely that both the next-gen Rapid and Virtus would share the same platform.
In terms of powertrains, while there are 3 engine options in LATAM, namely the 1.0-litre TSI, 1.5-litre TSI, and 1.6-litre MSI, the Indian Virtus is very likely to only receive the 1.0-litre TSI. Whether this will be the newer engine (130 PS/200 Nm) or the one carried over from the Indian-spec Vento (110 PS/175 Nm) is still under wraps.
Where's the Malaysian connection?
Now, as for Malaysia, there is a very huge chance for this to be the potential replacement for the Vento here. After all, early batches of the Polo and Polo Sedan were assembled in India (CBU) before local production (CKD) kicked in later. However, it might be the powerplant options that will make or break this model here.
It would be better for the much newer and powerful 1.0-litre engine to be brought into the larger and heavier Virtus, otherwise, the performance might be hampered. Of course, the 1.5-litre would be the best option, but this really depends on the higher-ups at Volkswagen.
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) hasn’t announced anything official just yet but do you think the Virtus makes a good replacement for the Vento?