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201408 Jul

vw up coming to india

 

WHEN: Early 2013

HOW MUCH: Rs 3.6 – 4.5 lakh

ENGINE: 1.0-litre, 3-cyl, petrol. 60 PS / 95 Nm;  1.2-litre diesel, 75 PS / 180 Nm

COMPETITION: Hyundai i10, Chevrolet Beat, Maruti A-Star, Maruti Wagon R

 

The Volkswagen up! is probably the most significant car from Volkswagen, especially in the Indian context. Rumours and speculations aside, VW has proven that it is capable of building a quality small car on its own, and needn’t borrow the expertise from Suzuki (with whom they share a cross-holding in stock). There were stories that the VW up! would be little more than a re-badged Maruti Wagon R, but those stories have been well and firmly quashed.

 

The VW up! was first shown as a concept car in 2009, and in its initial avatar was expected to house the engine in the rear, with power being sent to the rear wheels. However, the tooling and manufacturing costs were deemed to be too high for such a layout, and VW’s engineers opted to shift to a more conventional front-engined, front-wheel drive layout. Thankfully, the original styling cues were carried forward to production, and the up! delights as very smartly styled small car. Its simple yet elegant lines may not have the oomph of something like a Chevy Beat, but it is a good looking car.

 

vw up sunroof india

 

The front end gets a simple grille treatment, with a bold VW logo holding pride of place. The slightly boxy lines flow to the rear, with a square-cut treatment to the C-pillar and doors. The tail-gate is made of class, akin to the Honda Brio that car buyers in India have already seen, with the lower part of the glass hatch being blacked-out.

 

vw up

 

The interiors of the Volkswagen up! will surely be a step up from whatever Indian small car buyers have been used to. Volkswagen has chosen to match the interior colour scheme to the body colour, with painted panels on the dashboard and front doors. The instrument cluster consists of a big speedometer, with a tiny tachometer and fuel gauge to either side of the speedo. The AC controls are mounted above the built-in audio unit. A detachable GPS unit is mounted on top of the dashboard, and is available as standard on the top of the line High up! variant.

 

vw up dashboard

 

The Volkswagen up! is powered by a three-cylinder petrol engine, displacing 999 cc. This engine is available in two states of tune; 60 PS and 75 PS, but it I likely that the Indian-built VW up! will get the 60 PS version. This puts it on par with other small cars in this class. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox. However, a 5-speed automatic version is also available as an option, but it is unclear whether the Indian model will get it.

At a later date, VW could consider a diesel version of the up! for the Indian market. The 1.2-litre 3-cylinder diesel from the Polo could be shoe-horned to fit inside the up!, but it will add to the price of the car. VW will no doubt be benchmarking other value-for-money diesel cars in the market, including the Chevrolet Beat diesel of course, whose prices start at around Rs 4.4 lakh.  

 

vw up engine

 

Volkswagen benchmarked a number of cars as it began work on the design and proportions of the up!, including its very own Lupo. The up!’s wheelbase at 2420 mm is the longest in this class, and Volkswagen is confident that the up! will offer class-leading interior room. Flexible seating arrangements, including a 50:50 split-folding rear seat endow the up! with great versatility as well. VW claims that the up! affords up to 951 litres of luggage space with the rear seats folded.

 

vw up boot space

 

While Volkswagen has not committed to any time frame to launch the up! in India, autojunction.in understands that the car has already been sent for homologation to ARAI. For the up! to be profitable, VW will need volumes of at least 50,000 units a year. Skoda’s version of the up!, called the Citigo, could also get a call-up for Indian production. It might make sense for VW AG to capitalise on both for the Indian market. After all, Maruti sells the Wagon R, A-Star and the Estilo at similar prices from the same dealerships. The up! and Citigo would never compete on the same real estate, but if the Group can figure out a way to differentiate the two, maybe in terms of features and a little bit with pricing, then they stand a realistic chance of challenging the hegemony in the small car space so far demonstrated by Maruti.

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New Volkswagen Cars in India

Jetta (2011-2015)
Rs. 13.6 Lacs. - Rs. 20 Lacs.
Touareg
Rs. 58.5 Lacs. - Rs. 58.5 Lacs.
New Beetle
Rs. 20.4 Lacs. - Rs. 20.4 Lacs.
Polo (2010-2014)
Rs. 4.9 Lacs. - Rs. 8.1 Lacs.
Vento (2010-2014)
Rs. 7.3 Lacs. - Rs. 9.9 Lacs.
Passat (2011-2014)
Rs. 20.8 Lacs. - Rs. 25.6 Lacs.
Up
Rs. 3.6 Lacs. - Rs. 4.5 Lacs.
Taigun
Rs. 9 Lacs. - Rs. 9 Lacs.
Cross Polo
Rs. 5.8 Lacs. - Rs. 6.9 Lacs.
Polo
Rs. 5 Lacs. - Rs. 7.4 Lacs.
Vento
Rs. 7.4 Lacs. - Rs. 10.9 Lacs.
Jetta
Rs. 13.9 Lacs. - Rs. 19.8 Lacs.
Vento 2015
Rs. 7.8 Lacs. - Rs. 11.9 Lacs.
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