ICB Scoop: Volkswagen India testing Vento CNG sedan to counter Honda City CNG

Team ICB’s roving eye in the sky, EarthFusion, is back with a super hot scoop. German automaker Volkswagen is testing a CNG-petrol dual fuel version of the Vento sedan ahead of a launch in the Indian car market. This move from Volkswagen India comes on the back of Japanese automaker Honda all set to launch the CNG version of the City sedan in the coming weeks. The Volkswagen Vento CNG will have the CNG tank and kit fitted as a factory fitted option and is anticipated cost about INR 40,ooo more than the equivalent petrol variant of the Vento.

Volkswagen Vento Sedan

2012 Volkswagen Vento Sedan used as an illustration

The addition of the CNG kit to the petrol engined Vento will make the car much more cost effective to run while also making it less polluting as CNG is a much more cleaner burning fuel than petrol or diesel. This follow the latest trend in the Indian car industry, where car makers are adding CNG kits to their petrol engined cars, in a bid to make these cars cheaper to run for their owners, thus boosting demand.  The Volkswagen Vento CNG sedan will come with the factory warranty. However, it remains unclear whether Volkswagen will allow existing Vento petrol owners to upgrade to the CNG kit at the dealer level.

The Vento sedan is currently available with two engine options, a 1.6 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated MPI petrol engine and a 1.6 Liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine. Of these cars, the diesel engined Vento is the big seller with the petrol variant selling in very limited volumes. With the addition of the CNG-petrol variant, Volkswagen will be hoping to boost sales of the petrol engined Vento. With the Vento getting the CNG kit, we wonder if Skoda too will follow suit and equip the Rapid with a CNG-petrol dual fuel kit.

The Volkswagen Vento’s petrol engine is available with a 5 speed manual and a 6 speed automatic transmission while the turbo diesel engined variant gets only the 5 speed manual gearbox. Recently, Volkswagen updated the Vento with a slew of new features to boost demand ahead of the Indian festive season, a time when car sales are at their peak of the year. The facelifted Vento sedan gets smoked headlamps, a Bluetooth function, reverse camera and leather seats as the additional features as a part of the latest facelift.

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