Facelifted Volkswagen Polo And Skoda Fabia Preview Vento And Rapid Successors
The upcoming sedans should borrow much of the hatchbacks’ updated styling
Vento’s successor will likely be called Virtus while the Rapid’s replacement could be named Slavia.
Both will be based on the MQB A0 IN platform and share their turbo-petrol powertrains.
While 2021 Polo and Fabia are unlikely to come to India soon, their compact sedan versions are due to arrive by early-2022.
The new sedans should get the same front end styling and lighting design as the 2021 Polo and Fabia.
Both sedans should also share the dashboard layout seen on the new hatchbacks.
The new Skoda sedan is expected to launch later this year, ahead of the Vento’s replacement.
The Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento sedans are long overdue significant updates which are expected to arrive by early-2022. Now, some styling cues for these new sedans have been previewed by the recently unveiled hatchback versions of the models in Europe that they’ll be based on.
The current Vento is based on the fifth-gen Polo hatchback and both have been on sale in India for around a decade. Even though the third-gen Fabia was never introduced here, the current Rapid shares its face. The new Vento, expected to be called the Virtus, will be based on the facelifted sixth-gen Polo (not on sale in India) with similar exterior and interior details. The same applies to the upcoming Rapid successor, possibly called the Slavia, which will be based on the recently revealed fourth-gen Fabia.
Volkswagen’s design change feels more significant with a sleeker front fascia. Its new headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights are connected by a lightbar under the grille. The Virtus is also expected to get the new Polo’s elongated tail lamps to replace the square ones on the Vento. Its overall rear end design could be different from its European-spec sibling which is yet to be revealed. Also, we are unlikely to get the new Matrix LED headlamps seen on the facelifted Polo.
Meanwhile, the new Fabia’s front fascia is now more in line with the rest of the Skoda lineup. It gets the iconic vertically slatted grille with a chrome surround which is now flanked by sleeker LED headlamps. The front bumper styling looks more premium with a combination of shapes for the air dam and the fog lamp housings. Its exact rear end styling is yet to be teased but expect to see family design traits, like in the new Octavia.
The 2021 Polo and Fabia’s cabin designs are quite distinct, each in line with the language of its respective brand. Their dashboard layouts are likely to be carried forward to their respective compact sedan derivatives in India. Both are expected to feature the same climate control panel with the touch controls and the same positioning for the AC vents. While both sedans could offer the same 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system (in top-spec), the Virtus’ unit may be fitted entirely into the dashboard, as opposed to the Skoda’s free-standing design. Unlike their European counterparts, these India-spec compact sedans are unlikely to offer the VW Group’s 10.25-inch digital driver’s display system.
Both new-gen compact sedans will be underpinned by the localised MQB A0 IN platform and share their petrol powertrain options. While the current 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine (uprated to 115PS and 175Nm) will be carried forward, both will also get the choice of the 150PS 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. The more powerful engine could get the option of both 6-speed manual and 7-speed DSG automatic transmissions.
Artist rendering of compact sedan version of the new Skoda Fabia
The Skoda Rapid successor is expected to be launched first, later this year, and the Volkswagen sedan in early-2022. Both cars are likely to be priced between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom) and will continue to rival the likes of the Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, and the upcoming Toyota-badged Ciaz that will replace the Yaris.
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