The sedans may no longer be the dominating force on the US new car market, but these three-box vehicles remain popular in many regions of the world. Take for example India, where small sedans remain the bread and butter on the streets. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some automakers are developing new sedans especially for the local market, and Volkswagen seems to be the latest to join the party.
The attached spy photos below show a heavily camouflaged prototype testing in winter conditions in Northern Sweden. This is a test car for the new Volkswagen Virtus, which is a small sedan for India, where it will replace the aging Vento. For now, it is not known whether the German automaker will retire the Vento moniker when the new model arrives or it will keep one of its model names from the past alive. Most likely, however, it will be launched as the Virtus.
Gallery: VW Virtus spy photos
These spy shots show a traditional sedan shape for the new model featuring a typical easy-on-the-eyes Volkswagen design. The budget vehicle’s sloped roofline may trick you into believing this is actually a liftback, though we are 99.99 percent sure the rear window won’t be attached to the boot lid. Also, as you can see, there’s no rear wiper, which is usually a sign that we are dealing with a sedan.
The new Virtus will essentially be a posher version of the new Skoda Slavia, a model also developed especially for the Indian market (see the related links above). This means the small sedan from Wolfsburg will sit on the localized MQB A0-IN platform. The engine range will likely consist of two gas options - a 1.0-liter TSI with 115 horsepower (85 kilowatts) and a 1.5-liter turbo unit with 150 hp (110 kW). A six-speed manual will be standard for both engines, though the four-cylinder motor will be optionally available with a seven-speed DSG.
The rich equipment of the Virtus will be its main advantage over the more affordable Skoda Slavia. Volkswagen’s small sedan will be sold with optional cooled seats, a panoramic roof, and an all-digital instrument cluster. The debut of the vehicle is reportedly planned for May this year.