In the run up to the 2016 Auto Expo, Volkswagen has unveiled the Ameo compact sedan. The global debut of the sub-four-metre sedan marks the German carmaker’s long overdue entry into the compact sedan segment.
Earlier dubbed Indian Compact Sedan, the Ameo, has been derived specifically for the Indian market and will be manufactured at the carmaker’s plant in Chakan, Pune. Manufacturing is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2016.
The Ameo looks no different from a Polo right until the B-pillar. Volkswagen has not revealed overall length yet but given that the Polo measures 3,971mm, the Ameo’s tail section is rather short. You can tell the roof doesn’t flow downwards as it does on the hatchback. The C-pillar flows into a stubby and slightly angular boot section. The squared-out tail-lamps are also different from those on the Polo and Vento sedan and do help give the Ameo a different identity. The top-spec variant of the compact sedan gets 330 litres of boot space, 165mm ground clearance like the Polo, and 15-inch wheels.
All versions gets dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard. First-in-segment features include cruise control and rain-sensing wipers, static cornering lights and a touchscreen with Mirrorlink that can replicate your phone’s screen. Other features include automatic climate control, rear air-con vent, rear parking camera with sensors, electronically adjustable rear view mirrors, steering adjust for both rake and reach, a cooled glovebox and alloy wheels. The cabin is similar to the Polo's. However, the centre console is different thanks to the new touchscreen system. Space in general is not as generous as rivals and rear kneeroom is significantly down on the Figo Aspire and Zest.
The vehicle is powered by the 73bhp, 1.2-litre petrol engine and the 89bhp, 1.5-diesel unit from the Polo. Both engines come with five-speed manual gearboxes as standard though the diesel one can be had with VW’s seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox as well.
The new compact sedan from Volkswagen will go up against rivals like the Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent and Ford Aspire.
The carmaker announced an investment of Rs 720 crore in November 2015 towards development, setting up new equipment and ramping up the production of the new compact sedan. This forms a part of the Rs 1,500 crore investment that was announced by the carmaker at the beginning of 2014.