The VW Virtus is a specific model for Brazil and other Latin American countries. Photo: VW
VW has been producing in Brazil since 1957 and is therefore very familiar with the automotive preferences of South Americans. In order to better serve the domestic market, the Group offers numerous specific models, for example the Virtus. A driving report from So Paulo.
Volkswagen Virtus? Never heard! Of course not, because in this country the compact lookout is not in the program. It is a specific model for Brazil and other Latin American countries. The basis for the small sedan is the modular cross-body A0, on which the current VW Polo is based – so everything on time. Upon seeing the stage, memories come back to the long-gone derby, which here has more of an outsider existence.
In Brazil, on the other hand, there are small sedans, similar to those in the United States (where the Jetta is regarded as cool) or in Southern Europe, where you, as a family member with a not so great budget, are welcome in a small car with a suitcase. Pablo Di Si, Volkswagen CEO for the South American region, however, does not want to know anything about small cars and points out that the Virtus is based on the same platform as the Polo, but in the field of space travel. The figures prove this: while polo buyers in Germany have to settle for 2.50 meters of wheelbase, the Virtus customers get 2.65 meters and this is especially noticeable at the back of their knees and the distance between the knees and the back of the front seats.
The Virtus is certainly not a cheap car – on the contrary. From about 70,000 Real the basic model starts with Saugrohreinspritzer, which corresponds to the equivalent of 16,000 euros. The cheapest Polo is available in Germany for around 13,000 euros.
The fact that the South Americans tapping differently than, for example, the customers of the German market in the segment, becomes clear fairly quickly on the basis of many details. There would be a modern instrument panel, which consists entirely of a display area, but which has significantly fewer functions in the basic configuration than the active info display in the European Polo.
Because German interested parties would be very jealous of the comfort of the suspension. The Virtus so absorbs the virtue of the first meters of the job, that the idea of incorporating it into our model program does not spontaneously startle. Approaching suits fits perfectly with the suspension. Of course there is also an automatic six-speed gearbox under the plate instead of a double clutch, which uses a disc package as a starter clutch. With Volkswagen in Germany, however, it is the intention that the automatic versions with the name "DSG" with double clutch are used.
After a good kick on the accelerator a not unknown engine level comes into the interior. Here is the familiar from the group three-cylinder with direct injection and turbocharging, very modern. On the boot lid is "200 TSI" above the automatic lettering, a gimmick once used in the fashion industry in the seventies: the model name indicates the torque value of the engine, but the performance is not bad Parents, with ethanol operation , the "backpack" Polo releases significant outputs of 94 kW / 128 hp. Everyone who replenishes petrol still gets 115 horses. No wonder that the virtus is not only lively and agile due to the elections. So Paulos struggles, where a small power reserve does no harm to pick up a traffic jam at the last press. He also cuts a good figure on the highway acceleration lane and would not starve, even in the trendy, lush, motorized Germany.
Where the Brazilians save in between, one also jumps. That here and there sometimes a grip in the rather functionally rather quirky decorated interior cracks or not completely deburred, can apparently come across on the American continent (and not just in the south).
Even if the Volkswagen Virtus in Germany probably had no chance of success, one or other feature would be pretty refreshing, even in a local, popular Volkswagen model. Comfort and space are in any case included. In combination with the favorable price, the total package is certainly interesting and attractive.