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Old 15th July 2004, 13:19   #1
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I had read about the Volkswagen Lupo quite a while ago. This hatchback car is powered by diesel and is said to give a mileage of 33 kilometers to one litre of diesel. Now is that fuel efficiency or what??


Should VW introduce this car in India? If yes it would be one that Indian motorists would die for...

Dippy

[img]www.autoplus.com.mk/ katalog/volkswagen/lupo.jpg[/img]



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Old 15th July 2004, 14:22   #2
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Well, Dippy, I don't think there's a doubt as to whether this cqar should be brought to India. The only question is, can VW actually manage to price the Lupo competitevly? That's gotto be a hard task for them as to do that, they would have to source atleast 80-85% of the parts from local manufacturers, and i still don't think our guys are up to the standards of VW, especially when it comes to interior bits. Ofcourse, with the right pressure on them, they can deliver the goods.

however, I have a feeling that if VW does make it to India, they would want to position themselves in the higher segments, and leave the lower ones to Skoda.

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Old 15th July 2004, 14:45   #3
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Hey rtech

any idea how much this car retails abroad? Comparitively whats the price bracket we are looking at in India?

Dippy
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Old 15th July 2004, 14:46   #4
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Dippy, The model you are speaking about is fondly called the "3 liter Lupo" not because its engine size is 3000 cc. Its because the fuel consumption is 3 liters for every 100 kms.

But the VW Lupo "3 liter" is more a technical marketing exercise than anything else. As a mainstream product, it is not feasible. Heres why:

1. Its available only in 2 door configuration.

2. The car comes equipped with a sequential manual gearbox. Slot the selector into economy mode, and it accelerates really really slow - The ECM is trying to choose a higher gear as early as possible. Second, when you take your foot off the accelerator (say when approaching traffic), there is no engine braking and its in free wheeling mode. A scary situation for those of us who thrive on engine braking. Third, Keep your foot on the brake pedal for more than 3 seconds and the engine shuts off. Releasing the brake pedal cranks the engine back to life.

3. In order to achieve the 3 liter for every 100 kms fuel efficiency, the car has been stripped of every "unnecessary" kilogram. There is no power steering, power windows, air-conditioning etc. There are some higher end and better equipped models but they do not achieve the same fuel efficiency.

4. With the cheap suspension and minimum rolling resistance tyres, the ride quality is...well...pathetic.

5. The acquisition price for this particular model has a HUGE premium with it. Cant remember the exact figures but its like more than 1.5 lacs.

In short, there is nothing really revolutionary about this cars technology. Its got a regular direct injection diesel matched with high gear ratios and really low levels of weight.

Also a good time to mention this - Fuel economy is important to the Indian buyer, but he is willing to sacrifice a little bit of it in exchange for more driving pleasure/safety/other intangibles. Just look at the car and bike purchasing patterns of late.

In bombay driving conditions, I doubt the Lupo can manage much more than 18 kpl. Plus the pricing could not be lower than 4.5 lacs plus. Its main competitor would be the Tata Indica which at over a lac less in cost and just 3 - 4 kpl less in average would offer much more in comfort, safety, interior space, service costs etc.

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