Even as the motoring world's love affair with sports utility vehicles (SUVs) continues strongly, German automaker is continuing with the largest SUV offensive in the company’s history. By 2025, every second Volkswagen passenger cars sold throughout the world will probably be an SUV. This already applies to every fifth car sold now. The brand expects especially strong growth in SUV sales in North and South America, as well as in China.
By 2025, Volkswagen will be offering more than 30 SUV models throughout the world. With the new Polo-sized T-Cross, the brand is rounding off its SUV product portfolio at the bottom in the smallest segment. On October 24, the Volkswagen T-Cross made its world debut and was unveiled at the same time in Europe, China and South America.
The Touareg is at the top end of Volkswagen‘s SUV range, while the T-Roc is currently the brand‘s smallest SUV. Now the T-Cross, the brand’s smallest and most compact SUV,is ready to be launched.
“SUVs are becoming increasingly popular with our customers throughout the world,” says Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Sales. “This is why we are consistently pursuing our current SUV offensive. It will be a key contribution to strengthening our core business so that we can invest the necessary billions of euros in mobility and autonomous driving. The T-Cross rounds off our SUV family in the rapidly growing small SUV market.”
With the Touareg in the premium SUV segment, the Tiguan2 and T-Roc in the compact classes and the new T-Cross in the small car segment, Volkswagen has a strong product portfolio that will continue to grow.
Further SUV models are due to follow. Volkswagen’s first full-electric SUV, the ID. CROZZ3, is to be launched in 2020. This vehicle segment is part of Volkswagen’s e-mobility offensive, which aims to bring 20 new full-electric models onto the market by 2025.
SUV-ival of the fittest
The SUV offensive announced by Volkswagen in 2015 is a success story. The compact Tiguan is now among the 10 best-selling cars in the world, with almost five million units sold. The introduction of the second generation in 2016 heralded the expansion of the Volkswagen SUV portfolio.
The country-specific models Atlas for the USA and Teramont for China are enjoying sales success in their respective markets. The Touareg, which was the brand’s first SUV and has now reached its third generation, is also recording outstanding sales figures. Volkswagen expects global sales since the introduction of the first generation to reach the figure of 1 million units in the near future.
The relatively young T-Roc, the SUV in the Golf class, also got off to a good start. Since the model was launched at the end of last year, almost 130,000 cars have been sold.
Now the brand’s smallest and most compact SUV is ready to be launched – the first SUV offered by Volkswagen in this vehicle class – rounding off the SUV product portfolio at the bottom.
T-Cross is India-bound
The Volkswagen T-Cross will be sold globally with two wheelbase options. While the shorter version is based on the MQB A0 platform and aimed at European markets, the longer variant is targeted at emerging markets like South America, India and China. This model is based on a modified version of the MQB A0 architecture. The architecture is shared with the Volkswagen Virtus sedan (Vento replacement) sold in South American markets. This sedan is also headed to India in future.
The Volkswagen T-Cross is 4.19m long (European-spec variant is 4.17m), has a wheelbase of 2.65m and is 1.56m tall. The added length offers more interior room, especially in the second row. It gets sliding rear seats that will help in increasing legroom, or cargo room, depending on position.
The Volkswagen T-Cross for emerging markets gets a 1.0-litre TSI petrol unit, good for 128hp and 196Nm; this is the same engine used in the new Volkswagen Polo and the Virtus. Higher variants will come with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine that will deliver a healthy 150hp and 250Nm. A third engine option will be a 1.6-litre MSI petrol that churns out 110hp. The T-Cross 1.0 TSI is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the other engine options will get a 6-speed auto. The European-spec T-Cross also gets a 1.6-litre diesel option.
As far as safety goes, the Volkswagen T-Cross for emerging markets comes loaded with six airbags, automatic post-collision braking, ABS and ESP. The company is aiming with a 5-star Latin NCAP crash test rating for the T-Cross SUV. The longer T-Cross loses out on adaptive cruise control, automatic braking system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beam, and a blind spot monitoring system, which is available on the Euro-spec T-Cross.
Skoda will borrow the MQB A0 platform too, which means it will share underpinnings with the Volkswagen T-Cross SUV for emerging markets. As part of the India 2.0 strategy, Skoda will introduce this SUV in India in 2020, after a reveal of the production version sometime next year. This SUV was earlier previewed as the Skoda Vision X. The production-spec SUV will see stiff competition from the likes of the Nissan Kicks, the Tata Harrier, Renault Captur and the Hyundai Creta, and this means the model should come with premium interiors and a long feature list as well.
Along with the platform, the Skoda SUV will share a few body panels from the T-Cross, along with many interior bits like the dashboard, seats, and tech. India will first see the launch of the Skoda SUV first, and then the T-Cross.
(With inputs from Akbar Merchant)
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