Skoda India plans to launch as many as 5 new cars

Skoda’s parent company, Volkswagen announced its merger of the two brands in India in October 2019. The new entity will continue to utilise both the Pune and Aurangabad-based manufacturing facilities.
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In June 2019, Skoda Auto India announced its ‘India 2.0 strategy’. The company also confirmed that it will be launching new models based on Volkswagen’s MQB A0 platform, for which its R&D team developed an India-specific MQB A0 IN platform in-house, targeting the first product launch in early 2020.

At present, the Czech car manufacturer has 63 sales and 61 service outlets in India and plans to expand to 50 new cities over the next three years. It added that the dealership count too will be doubled in the next three years.

Skoda, along with its dealer partners, has invested Rs 1,200 crore in its rebranding strategy across the 53 cities it is present at the moment. It has also upgraded all its dealerships with new interiors representing the new corporate strategy.

Since then, Skoda India has confirmed as many as six new models for India which include a new compact sedan, a compact SUV, two premium sedans, and two premium SUVs. The company will not be selling any new diesel cars from April 2020 when the country will move to stricter BS-VI emission norms. Further, it will not be introducing any hybrid technologies in India due to the lack of subsidies and any government support.

Here’s all you need to know about Skoda India’s upcoming product portfolio:

Skoda Karoq

Rivalling the MG Hector and Jeep Compass, the Skoda Karoq will be launched in April 2020. Essentially the successor to the erstwhile Yeti, the Karoq also utilises the MQB platform as the Volkswagen Tiguan and Seat Ateca. The SUV will be introduced via a Completely Built Unit (CBU).

Powertrain options will include 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol (115 PS/200 Nm), and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol (150 PS/250 Nm). Transmission options will include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed DSG. In terms of design, the Karoq will follow the edgy look seen in the Kodiaq. The infotainment system will include an eight-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink connectivity. Other features will include LED lighting, dual-zone climate control, and automatic headlight control.

In terms of safety features, the UK edition of Karoq gets head, knee, curtain, and front-side airbags. Additionally, the SUV gets a 521-litre boot space. With the Karoq being a CBU, we wouldn’t be surprised if the SUV in India gets all these features.

Skoda Superb

The updated Skoda Superb will be launched in India in May 2020. The premium sedan gets new full-LED Matrix headlights, that flank a slightly larger radiator grille and restyled front bumper. Also, the car is now longer by 8 mm, measuring 4,869 mm. The rear gets new rear taillamps.

Keeping the safety on focus, Skoda will offer the new Superb with predictive cruise control, emergency assist for multi-lane roads, and front assist with predictive pedestrian protection. Besides, the premium sedan will also get seven airbags. Powertrain options will include 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol (150 PS/250 Nm) and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (272 PS/320 Nm). The latter will also be making its way to the Kodiaq, early next month. Gearbox options will include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed DSG automatic.

What will be interesting to see is, if Skoda offers the Superb with an all-wheel-drive system, as seen in the global markets.

Mid-size SUV

By June 2021, Skoda India will be launching a new mid-size SUV in the country. Competing against the Hyundai Creta, the new SUV will utilise the MQB A0 IN platform. While not officially confirmed yet, this SUV is expected to be a modified Kamiq from the global markets. It will also have a slightly longer wheelbase to allow more legroom for rear passengers. Additionally, the exteriors will get more chrome to make the SUV more attractive for the Indian audience.

Powertrain options in the UK include 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol (95 PS/ 175 Nm and 115 PS/200 Nm) and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol (150 PS/250 Nm). The Indian version may continue with the same tuning. The gearbox options too are expected to be a five-speed manual and a seven-speed DSG automatic.

The Kamiq’s features list will include an 8-inch infotainment system, ambient lighting, automatic climate control, sunroof, and all-LED lighting. Skoda, though, will have to heavily localise the car to price it attractively. The carmaker may showcase the compact SUV in a prototype form at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo in February 2020.

Mid-size sedan

This new notchback will be a direct replacement of the Rapid and may well get a new brand name. Codenamed the ANB, the notchback will be launched by the end of 2021 and will be based on the MQB A0 IN platform tweaked for India.

The powertrain options will be the same as that of the Indian version of Skoda Kamiq. However, this model too will miss out on a diesel option as per Skoda India’s mid-term strategy. However, this places the notchback at a disadvantage against its competitors which includes Maruti Ciaz, Honda City, and Hyundai Verna.

Further, the new mid-size sedan will also be rebadged with minor changes as the replacement for the Vento by Skoda’s parent company, Volkswagen.

Skoda Octavia

The Octavia is one of the most recognisable models in the Czech carmaker’s Indian product portfolio. It unveiled its new, updated model in Prague in November 2019, which will be launched in India by the end of 2020.

The new Skoda Octavia looks leaner, meaner, and sportier than the outgoing model. Now, it is more dynamic and has an alluring physical appearance. The car also gets new LED matrix headlamps. It measures 4,690 mm in length, 1,829 mm in width, and 1,470 mm in height. Its wheelbase measures 2,686 mm. The car’s interior houses a 10.25-inch virtual cockpit, while the infotainment system will include four options with screens measuring from 8.25 to 10 inches.

Other features include three-zone climate control, a HUD unit, and collision-avoidance assist which makes evasive steering around a sudden obstacle more precise. Besides, the sedan also gets turn assist, exit warning, side assist, local traffic information, predictive cruise control, and predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection.

Skoda will also be reintroducing the Octavia vRS moniker at the Delhi Auto Expo in February 2020.

(Edited by Suman Singh)


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