The new sedan is specifically tailored to suit Indian roads
Europe's largest car maker Volkswagen is pulling out all the stops to roll out its new car — ‘made in India for Indians' Vento — from its Chakan plant near Pune shortly, triggering a competition in the premium mid-size sedan segment in India.
Vento, christened after wind in Italian and Portugese, was unveiled at a preview to a select group of journalists from India at the Volkswagen's modern automated car manufacturing facility here recently. At first glance, the gleaming white Vento, looked like a variant of the highly successful hatchback from VW stable, Polo, with its trademark face retained barring the twin slab chrome lined grille and headlights that were different. The rear too looked similar though it is a wee bit broader providing for a roomy boot.
Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the board of management of Volkswagen brand, clarified journalists that though the new sedan was built on the Polo platform and some features resemble, it was totally different. Vento had been designed to be a key growth pillar for brand Volkswagen in India and a premium entry-level sedan. Explaining why the Polo platform was picked, he said the hatchback had been a big hit, selling 11 million units of different versions since its launch in 1972. The new Polo is the fifth generation one.
Volkswagen prefers to badge the new sedan as Indian-made, having specifically tailored it to suit Indian roads, weather, traffic and market. India-specific features incorporated after a thorough survey of discerning Indian clientele include luxurious beige interior, better legroom, higher ground clearance, easy steering to help manoeuvre through traffic and park in tight spots, improvised braking system and a shade shriller horn, “a must on Indian streets”.
The wheel base has been stretched longer to create more legroom and the best part is the provision of levers for adjusting the front seat from the rear one — a good thought for the chauffeur driven car. Breadth of the windows too has been expanded to give it a dynamic look. The boot is cavernous and a typical Indian family could pack luggage enough for a long holiday. The design is understated and classy.
“It may not appear stylish but is modern withstanding the test of time and carrying with it the Volkswagen's stamp of perfection, precision, quality and high-end technology,'' said Klaus Bischoff, Director, Volkswagen, design research and development. Volkswagen was not prepared to share other technical details of Vento beyond the offer of petrol and diesel versions both displacing 1.6 litre.