The VW designed just for India
The Indian car manufacturing industry grew up on making old British saloon cars that had been originally desigend in the 1950’s, when cars where much smaller. So, now there is an odd little sweet spot for small sedans, cars that are bigger and better equipped than the tiny Tata Nano or the Maruti Suzuki hatchbacks, but still shorter, in length, than the small saloons sold almost everywhere else in the world.
The car above is the all new VW Ameo, the first car Volkswagen made specially and exclusively for the Indian market. This made-in-Pune, India micro sedan was really designed to meet one legislation.
So, in India there is a weird ruling that if the car is over four metres long, it is hit with an excise tax of 22% but those under four metres only attract a 10% excise rate.
That same legislation also says that, to qualify for this lower excise tax, cars must have petrol engines of 1.2-liters or less or diesel engines of 1.5-liters or less. No prizes for guessing which one VW will be using in the Ameo – a 1.2-liter gasoline (74hp) and 1.5-liter diesel (89hp), mated to a five-speed manual (seven-speed DSG extra).
The Ameo looks similar to its brother, the Polo, just with a shorter behind. It also has unique body panels and bumper caps, with sharper and more angular moulding and detailing. Lights and grille will not differ from the VW family features.
It will sell for about US$7,500-8,000, and for a budget car, it’s quite well-equipped. There’s the MirrorLink, which links your phone to the LCD screen, airbags and cruise control, amidst a two-tone interior. This will be the first diesel that VW will be producing since the whole Dieselgate mess began, if anyone’s interested.
All mod-cons in the new Ameo