20110901

New VW Touareg and new variant of Polo seen testing

The German offensive in the Indian automotive market shows no signs of slowing down. With Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz continuing their relentless assault with new model launches one after the other, will Volkswagen prefer to sit behind and watch its peers in action? Close on the heels of launching the new Passat and the new Jetta in India, Volkswagen seems to be preparing itself for some busy times ahead. Need proof? A host of cars from the Volkswagen group including the new Touareg were seen testing together in Pune.

Like all the other cars in the group, the new Touareg was also without any camouflage indicating that the launch is not too far off. Up front, the new Touareg gets the now-familiar corporate look of Volkswagen that is seen on all its models starting from the Polo to the Passat. Horizontal slatted grilled with chrome strips flanked on either sides by clear trapezoidal headlights gives the new Touareg a more aggressive face compared to the rounded look of its predecessor. From the profile and rear, the Touareg remains largely unchanged except for the stylish new taillights.

Just like the Vento and Jetta, Volkswagen is likely to cash in on the diesel trend in India by plonking in its award-winning TDI technology into the Touareg. Being a Volkswagen, superb build quality and very high levels of fit and finish with a host of comfort and safety features can be expected. All these factors combined with its good macho looks and great off-roading capabilities gives the new Touareg the potential to lead it’s segment with the only dampener being Volkswagen’s lack of premium image compared to its rivals.

The Porsche Cayenne, widely considered by critics to be not quite as capable as the Touareg, comfortably outsells the latter in India due to the brand catchet of Porsche. Also, we all know the fate of Phaeton in India, the ultra-luxury sedan from Volkswagen which was in the news recently for being offered with a mind-boggling discount of 25 Lakhs. Will the new Touareg be in a position to do what the Phaeton didn’t and bring about a change in the perceived image of the brand? Let’s wait and see. The answer will be out in a few months.

Also seen on testing along with the new Touareg were many new variants of existing Volkswagen group models like the Polo and Vento and Skoda’s Fabia, Laura and Yeti. Though more details about these new variants could not be observed, one particular Polo even had steering mounted buttons in it indicating that the company is working to address the issue of Polo’s lack of features compared to the competition. With one of its major grouses all set to become history with this new variant, we can expect Polo’s sales to increase further.

3 comments:

  1. so the new polo is expected to loaded with features but from the pic, it looks the same,I was expecting some cosmetic changes...

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  2. @ sid - To be frank, even I was expecting some subtle cosmetic upgrades for the Polo along with these additional features. But, as they say, why fix when it ain't broke? The current Polo is right there amongst the best looking hatches in India.

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