Volkswagen is set to go head-to-head with Toyota’s C-HR after it confirmed it will introduce its small coupe-SUV, the Nivus, into Europe in the second half of this year. The car was originally launched in Brazil last spring, but will be modified for the European market. Prices and specifications will be announced closer to the car’s release date.
VW says the “Nivus combines SUV elements and sports coupe lines”. Essentially it’s a sportier version of the current T-Cross with a more flowing, coupe-type rear roofline, which José Carlos Pavone, head of Volkswagen’s design department for Latin America, described as “athletic and modern”.
Postitioned as a sleeker version of the compact SUV, it will compete with the C-HR, Ford Puma and Mazda CX-30 in the growing sub-section of the B-SUV segment.
Sitting on the smallest version of the VW Group’s modular platform, the MQB A0 chassis — which already supports the T-Cross and current Polo supermini — the Nivus is slightly longer than the T-Cross. But while it measures 4,266mm in length, its roofline will be around 10mm lower to add to its sportier styling. Roof rails, silver skirt inserts and black wheel arches will all feature.
Set to be built in Europe, though no date for the start of production has yet been announced, it’s expected the core engine option will be the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol as found in the T-Cross. A higher-performance 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit may follow but in an effort to keep on-sale prices low, there will be no diesel or hybrid versions.
Capable of carrying five people, and with 415 litres of stowage space in the boot, trim levels are expected to match those of the T-Cross, including the well-equipped SEL and sporty R-Line trim. Inside the cabin, expect a 10-inch high-definition infotainment screen with built-in wifi and the same driver assitance and safety technology as the T-Cross.
If it comes to the UK — though that has yet to be confirmed — it’s likely the Nivus will be a little more expensive than the T-Cross, with prices starting around £20,000