Volkswagen And Skoda Can Kill 2.0 Birds With 1.0 Stone

As Skoda spearheads the India 2.0 Project, the 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine becomes the centre of all attention

Volkswagen 1.0-litre TSI Engine
Volkswagen 1.0-litre TSI Engine

Recently, Skoda took the helm of product development for Volkswagen Group’s India division. Skoda is looking closely to make a bunch of small cars that can share a common platform. That’ll bring the numbers in VW’s court as they can contain the production cost by localizing the frame. That means you can buy a Skoda or Volkswagen car that’s priced at par with the Maruti and Hyundai offerings.

Skoda India CEO, Bernhard Maier, confirmed to Autocar that the company will work hard towards localizing the 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine. Maier said, “Our 1.0 TSI petrol is a very cost-efficient engine and we are going to build it in India in the future. Diesel will play a decisive role in the future but more for bigger cars such as the Octavia, Superb or Kodiaq. Although diesel is a very good alternative, the after-treatment will become expensive and will not serve for smaller cars in the future in India. But we have very competitive petrol engines.”

The VW Group’s turbocharged, direct injected 1.2-litre TSI engine along with the DQ200 7-speed dual-clutch transmission has earned a fan following with brisk performance that’s easy to fall in love with. But it has been consistently surrounded by reliability issues.

Let’s evaluate the 1.0-litre TSI engine power, transmission combos and see what mileage they deliver.

Application 1: Premium Hatchback (Polo), Compact Sedan (Ameo)

– 94hp, 5-speed manual, 22.7kmpl
– 94hp, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, 21.7kmpl

The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine will be powerful enough to do duty in the India-bound next-generation Polo and the Ameo facelift. It’ll easily beat the Baleno (83hp) and i20 (82hp) in the power department and also the Dzire and Amaze (89hp).

Application 2: C-Segment Sedan, Compact SUV

– 114hp, 6-speed manual, 21.7kmpl
– 114hp, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, 21.3kmpl

The Vento currently makes 103hp regardless of whether you choose the 1.6-litre engine or the 1.2-litre TSI engine with the automatic. The 1.0-litre TSI with 114hp may not be a match for Verna’s 121hp petrol engine. But, it can rival the City’s 117hp figure and easily trump the 91hp output of the Ciaz. Should the brand choose to rival the Vitara Brezza, EcoSport (121hp), and the Nexon (108hp), the 1.2-litre engine with 114hp will do just fine while staying within the compact class given its limited displacement.

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV
Volkswagen T-Cross SUV

To exploit the higher power output, the 114hp variant also comes with a 1 extra gear compared to the 94hp unit. 6-speed transmissions are quickly becoming the norm in the class.

Other casualties will include the Baleno RS, which is priced at a premium despite a rather mediocre driving experience coupled with the sprightly 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine called the Boosterjet. The Polo 1.0-litre with 114hp can beat the Baleno RS in the hot hatch category with much ease. Hopefully, the carmaker will offer it with the simpler 6-speed manual transmission so that owners can at least keep the DSG troubles at bay.

Bonus Application: Small Hatchback

– 75hp, 1.0-litre Naturally Aspirated, 5-speed manual, 18.8kmpl

The non-turbo variant of this engine is already doing duty in the Polo and Ameo as it replaced the 3-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine. This engine could do duty in a new small car that VW group may launch to rival the Grand i10 and the Swift. While it may be capable of hauling even a compact sedan like the Ameo, the keyword here is ‘adequate’. However, buyers aren’t used to associating such adjectives with Volkswagen Group cars. The new small car could carry a Skoda or VW badge.

Volkswagen T-Cross SUV
Volkswagen T-Cross SUV

Besides the heavily-localized powertrain, Volkswagen Group will also localize the MQB-A0 platform, which is just as versatile as the 1.0-litre powertrain. The modular frame can be employed in:

– Premium hatchback (Polo)

– Compact sedan (Ameo)

– C-segment sedan (Vento)

– Compact SUV/crossover (Brezza/EcoSport/Nexon category)

– Bigger crossover (Creta/Duster category)

Thus making it very critical for Skoda and Volkswagen to make this chassis in India. VW Group is aiming for 90% localisation to keep the costs in check and regain the competitive edge.

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