After a sneak peek at the manufacturing facility, Volkswagen had the entire automotive industry buzzing with anticipation, with regards to the German automaker’s replacement for the Polo Sedan, also known as the Vento, in international markets. As part of Volkswagen’s new offensive strategy called Transform 2025+, developed principally for the Latin American markets, the new ‘Virtus’ compact sedan was launched in Sao Paulo in Brazil. This new strategic shift towards the Latin American markets will see 20 new models being launched by the end of the year 2020, 13 of them in Brazil itself with an investment of a whopping €1.8 billion.
Designed on the lines of the sixth generation Mk6 Polo hatchback, Virtus is the third Volkswagen car, after the Golf and the Polo, to be based on their Modular Transversal Toolkit system, also known as the MQB platform. At 2650mm, the Virtus has a slightly larger wheelbase than the Polo, a sloping roof that complements its rear and a generous 521 litre bootspace modelled after the Areteon sedan. The front is modelled almost entirely on its apparent predecessor, the Polo hatchback. There are a few minor design modifications, such as the bumpers having hints of chrome and predominantly placed fog lamps and reflectors.
The spaciously designed cabin of the Virtus, that comfortably seats five persons, has a Hi-Tech dashboard with the new TFT instrument display, two digital screens compatible with numerous entertainment and navigation options, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The modishly designed interiors, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and minimal buttons, provide a premium look to the Virtus, while also making it pleasantly comfortable. On the safety front, a wide array of security features embedded in the car, bring it at par with other much larger models of Volkswagen, such as the Golf and the Passat.
Under the hood
The Virtus is slated to be available in two engine options- a 1.6 litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that delivers a beastly 117hp and 162Nm of torque and an even more imposing 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine that produces 128hp and 200Nm of torque. The 1.6 litre engine has 5-speed automatic as well as manual transmission options while the 1.0 litre turbo engine is paired with 6-speed automatic transmission.
While the Virtus is all set to hit Latin American roads next year, there is no confirmation yet as to its future in markets across other regions, such as India. However, with the success enjoyed by the Polo and the Vento in the Indian automotive markets as well as the burgeoning demand in the entire South Asian region, the launch of the Virtus in India very soon seems pretty plausible. Skoda, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen, in the meanwhile has been working on developing a low-cost Eco system similar to the MQB, which it will share with Volkswagen. The next year, for both Skoda and Volkswagen in the Indian automotive sector, looks very promising indeed.