Skoda India has quietly updated its website with details of the automatic version of the 1.8 Liter turbo petrol engined Laura sedan. Initially available only with the 6 speed manual gearbox mated to the 1.8 Liter TSI turbo petrol motor, the Laura now gets the 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox as an option. The 7 speed DSG gearbox equipped Laura 1.8 TSI is available in Ambition trim and the car is priced 1 lakh rupees higher than the manual gearbox equipped variant. The Laura TSI AT is priced at INR 15.65 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. Over the next few day, bookings for the car will open across the country.
For the additional 1 lakh rupees, you get the 7 speed DSG automatic gearbox, a higher ARAI certified fuel economy number of 14.6 Kmpl(higher than the manual gearbox equipped Laura 1.8 TSI by 1.2 Kmpl) and 16 inch alloy wheels with wider rubber. Acceleration is also expected to be brisker with the 7 speed DSG gearbox as the twin clutches make for faster gearshifts. The additional gear ratio also means that the driveability of the car will be better. Apart from these changes, the Laura 1.8 AT in Ambition trim is pretty much the same car as the manual gearbox version in terms of the kit on offer.
On the Laura, the 1.8 Liter TSI turbo petrol engine produces 160 Bhp of peak power and 250 Nm of peak torque. This turbo petrol engine is known for its perky performance with bagfuls of torque across the rev range. The 1.8 TSI motor is also available on the Skoda Superb luxury saloon. The Laura sold in India is also available with the 2 Liter TDI turbo diesel engine, available in two states of tune: 110 Bhp–250 Nm and 140 Bhp-320 Nm. While a 5 speed manual gearbox is standard on the 110 Bhp turbo diesel engine, the higher powered 140 Bhp engine gets a 6 speed DSG automatic gearbox as standard.
Worldwide, the 6 speed DSG automatic gearbox has proved to be more reliable than the 7 speed DSG unit on Skoda and Volkswagen cars. So, it’ll be interesting to see how reliable the gearbox will be on the Laura AT in India. In India, the current-generation Skoda Laura is due for replacement in the next few months, what with the bookings for the 2013 Octavia already open in Europe. The new car is based on the Volkswagen group’s MQB platform and is much larger than the current version. Also, the 2013 Octavia(Laura in India) will get higher equipment levels than the outgoing model.