It’s been less than 24 hours since Volkswagen India announced its plans to launch the new Tiguan and Passat in India, and we’ve already spotted both cars in the wild! The convoy of Volkswagen’s upcoming launches was seen on a highway test, not too far from VW’s plant in Chakan, Maharashtra.
With these new cars, Volkswagen will be hoping to gain some traction in premium price segments, while simultaneously giving the brand itself a more upmarket aura. Here are some highlights that are common to both cars:
Both will be offered with a 2.0-litre TDI (diesel) engine.
Both are based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform.
Both models are expected to be locally assembled.
Both have cousins from Skoda that they will share parts with i.e. the Skoda Superb and soon-to-be-launched Kodiaq.
The Tiguan is arguably the more important launch of the two. While SUVs are very popular across all segments, this is only the second Volkswagen SUV in India, the first being the Touareg, which was discontinued back in 2014.
Trivia: The Touareg was based on the same platform as the old Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
The Tiguan was showcased at this year’s Delhi Auto Expo, just around 4 months after its global unveil. At least at launch, it will only be available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine (possibly in the 150PS/340Nm state of tune) paired with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
Going by the spy shots, it looks like VW’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system will be offered, though it will most likely be limited to the higher variants, while front-wheel drive will come as standard. The Volkswagen Tiguan’s feature list is expected to include a touchscreen infotainment system, three-zone climate control, ventilated seats, LED headlights and LED tail lights. Expect prices to start at around Rs.20 lakh, with the SUV directly rivaling the Hyundai Tucson.
The Passat, on the other hand, will most likely start at Rs.28-30 lakh and will go up against the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, apart from competing with its cousin, the Skoda Superb. While Volkswagen did showcase the Passat (now in its eighth-generation) hybrid, aka the Passat GTE, at the auto expo, it looks like VW will be taking the traditional route and launch the sedan only with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, paired with a six-speed DSG automatic transmission. Since the powertrain is shared with the Skoda Superb, expect it to produce the same 177PS of power and 350Nm of torque.
Like the Tiguan, it too will get features like LED lighting systems and touchscreen infotainment, apart from a sunroof and 9 airbags.
While these new launches will be an important part of Volkswagen’s plans for India, the Polo, Ameo and Vento will continue to be the primary points of focus.