With the BS6 update, the Volkswagen Polo and Vento will get a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque converter gearbox with the new 1.0L TSI engine in place of the 7-speed DSG.
Volkswagen India has officially confirmed that they will phasing out the 7-speed DSG gearbox from the Polo and Vento. This 7-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox was offered with the 1.5 liter TDI diesel and the 1.2 liter TSI petrol engines. Now, Volkswagen had already announced that they will discontinuing both the 1.5L TDI and the 1.2L TSI engines post the BS6 norms. There will be no diesel engine in the Polo post April 2020 and the 1.2L TSI engine will be replaced with a new 1.0L TSI engine.
The new 1.0 liter, three-cylinder, direct injection turbo-petrol engine produces 115bhp and 200Nm of torque. Both power and torque figures have gone up over the 1.2L TSI engine but it has also lost one cylinder. It was however expected that Volkswagen would offer the new 1.0L TSI engine with the 7-speed GSG gearbox in the Polo and the Vento. Instead, the 1.0L TSI engine will have two transmission options – a 6-speed manual and a conventional 6-speed torque converter automatic. Volkswagen says with the diesel gone, it wants to broaden the appeal of its petrol-only variants with more affordable transmission options.
But why did Volkswagen take such a step? Firstly, the new 6-speed torque converter will be about Rs. 40,000-50,000 cheaper than the 7-speed DSG unit. Moreover, the 7-speed DSG unit has suffered from quality issues in Indian conditions. The stop-go traffic conditions on Indian roads made the gearbox quite jerky and didn’t operate quite as smoothly. Despite their improved fuel efficiency and improved performance, Volkswagen has decided to switch over to a 6-speed torque converter unit for the Polo and the Vento.
In fact, the 1.0 TSI and 6-speed AT combination, as well as the 6-speed manual will also be used in the base variant of the Taigun midsize SUV, which was unveiled ahead of the 2020 Auto Expo and is due for launch by mid-2021. The midsize SUV segment is quite hotly contested and VW will have to be cost-effective to have a winning product in hand. Also, with Skoda and VW’s localization efforts, the 6-speed AT and MT could also be locally manufactured here in India.
The top-end Taigun, which gets a 130hp 1.5 TSI engine, will however retain the 7-speed DSG gearbox for a more performance-oriented driving experience. Also, the same powertrain options will also be shared with Skoda’s Vision IN which will actually arrive in the Indian marker before the VW Taigun.
If the enthusiast in you is saddened by the loss of the 7-speed DSG on the Volkswagen Polo and the Vento, then there’s some respite in the fact that Volkswagen will be offering a 6-speed manual transmission with the 1.0L TSI petrol engine in Polo and the Vento. With 110bhp on offer, the Polo GT TSI could very well rejuvenate the hot-hatch segment in India which, with the demise of the Punto Abarth, the Baleno RS and the Tiago JTP, is all but dead with the BS6 emission norms kicking in.