Opinion: India-Spec Volkswagen T-Cross Could Be Bigger Than Euro-Spec
The T-Cross will have to rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster, which are bigger in size, in India
Volkswagen Group is set to localise its modular MQB A0 platform in India, with the first car based on this platform set to debut in 2020. The initial products from Volkswagen and Skoda on this platform will be SUVs. While Skoda will come up with a made-for-India SUV, Volkswagen is expected to introduce the yet-to-be-revealed T-Cross, which the carmaker has been studying for the Indian market since 2017.
VW recently revealed the first-ever sketch of the T-Cross for the European market along with a few details about the upcoming SUV. Aside from Europe, the German automaker has confirmed the T-Cross for markets such as China and South America.
Pictured: Sixth-gen Volkswagen Polo
It’s no secret that the European T-Cross has taken the new sixth-gen Polo as its base. In fact, the T-Cross is mere 54mm longer than the Euro-spec sixth-gen Polo (4,053mm). Although Volkswagen has not revealed it yet, it is safe to assume that the wheelbase of the Euro-spec T-Cross would be similar to that of the Polo’s (2,564mm).
Pictured: Volkswagen Virtus
But for South America, Volkswagen is expected to base the T-Cross SUV on the Virtus’ underpinning, so the wheelbase of the T-Cross in this market could be longer than its Euro avatar. The Volkswagen Virtus has a wheelbase of 2,650mm, which is around 86mm more than the new Polo’s. Both the cars, however, are based on the same MQB A0 platform. Hence, the SA-spec T-Cross would be bigger than its European counterpart.
Pictured: Volkswagen Virtus
The carmaker could take a similar approach in India since VW has decentralised power amongst its various subsidiaries around the world. These subsidiaries (Skoda in India’s case) are now developing market-specific products based on the group’s modular platforms.
Ideally, since both Skoda and VW have presence in the C-segment sedan space in India, the Group should be thinking of giving its three-box cars a generation change first, followed by the hatchback (Polo), which only one brand (Volkswagen) offers. That would allow the Volkswagen Group to offer all its first 4 cars in India on the longer version of the MQB-A0-IN.
The Euro-spec T-Cross has an overall length of 4,107mm, which makes it around 160mm shorter than the Hyundai Creta. Offering the bigger T-Cross in India would make its case stronger against SUVs like the Creta (bestseller in its segment), Renault Captur and the upcoming second-gen Duster.
Volkswagen has already done something like this before with the T-ROC SUV, which is based on the slightly bigger MQB platform. The carmaker will soon launch the T-ROC SUV in the Chinese market and the China-spec SUV features an extended wheelbase compared to the T-ROC in Europe. However, both the SUVs feature identical styling.
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