Skoda Kamiq is larger than globally top-selling Karoq and is based on a relatively low-cost PQ platform for China
The 2018 edition of Chengdu Motor Show in China saw the debut of one of Skoda’s volume aspirations in the vast auto market of the People’s Republic. It is no secret that Skoda has been eyeing big returns with the investment on new SUVs and crossovers, and it has so far benefitted the brand largely courtesy of the Kodiaq and Karoq’s global success.
Born out of the same bloodline, the Kamiq is no different and has in fact been tailor-made for the Chinese market. In recent years, country-spec vehicles have become more of a commonality among manufacturers, and especially in China where people prefer increased room at the rear. The Skoda Kamiq measures 4,390 mm long, 1,781 mm wide, 1,593 mm tall and features a wheelbase of 2,610 mm.
Instead of using the flexible yet expensive MQB architecture that underpins majority of Volkswagen Group cars, the Skoda Kamiq sits on a relatively less cost bearing PQ platform developed in China. Positioned as Skoda’s entry-level SUV, it has larger proportions than the Karoq retailed in Europe with almost similar cosmetic identities.
The China-spec Karoq though is 42 mm longer, 60 mm wider, 21 mm taller and has 78 mm more wheelbase than the Kamiq. It gains changes to the tailgate, bumpers, headlamps and tail lamps alone. With more conventional looks than the Karoq, it is assembled by Shanghai Volkswagen joint venture there.
It costs from 1,09,900 Chinese Yuan (Rs. 11.38 lakh approx) and derives power from a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine that should produce close to 110 hp and 150 Nm peak torque. As standard, the powertrain is coupled to a six-speed manual with a seven-speed DSG auto as optional.
Priced 20,000 Yuan cheaper than the Karoq (around Rs. 2 lakh), the Kamiq does share several components and interior with the smaller Karoq. The Czech company is targetting more SUVs for China in a strategy to double its sales to 6 lakh units by the end of 2020. Having been present for over a decade, Skoda has high focus on China as its the brand’s biggest market.
Last year, more than 3,25,000 units were sold there and the number is projected to increase further in the coming years. So, how about Indian customers? With Skoda taking charge for the INDIA 2.0 project, we will see fresh breed of SUVs arriving in just a couple of years including the Vision X Concept based compact SUV.