Skoda Preparing Compact SUV For India; Will Be Heavily Localised

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Skoda compact SUV will be based on the MQB A0 IN platform that also underpins the Kushaq and the upcoming Slavia

Under the India 2.0 project, Skoda launched the Kushaq midsize SUV a few weeks ago with high local content as it is based on the MQB A0 IN platform with more than 90 per cent localisation. The same architecture has spawned the VW Taigun while the Skoda Slavia midsize sedan (launch in early 2022) and a Virtus based VW sedan are in the pipeline as well.

Skoda’s next move will be expanding its reach to some of the highly sought-after segments in India as a sub-four-metre SUV will arrive in the near future. The compact SUV segment has been steadily growing with more manufacturers making their presence felt. India’s latest entrant Citroen will bring in the C3 early next year while Jeep is also preparing a compact five-seater SUV.

The Czech Republican automaker is currently leading the charge in the India 2.0 plan and its next phase. It has taken responsibility for further developing the MQB A0 platform within the VW Group. It is used in South America and South Africa as well and therefore, the high export potential is seen. Since Skoda has the responsibility, it has shown intentions of diving deep into it and developing a new compact SUV.

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Thomas Schäfer, Skoda Auto’s chairman of the board said in an interview that his brand is not finished with the compact SUV project just yet. Whether Volkswagen will come up with a twin or not is yet unknown as the German brand does not seem to be very keen at the moment. Skoda is actively studying the feasibility of the sub-four-metre SUV.

The chances of Skoda utilising the existing 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI turbocharged petrol engine are high and it could produce around 115 PS maximum power and 175 Nm of peak torque. The powertrain could be linked with a six-speed manual transmission as standard and an automatic unit as an option. The same motor powers the Kushaq, Rapid, Vento, Polo, Taigun and the upcoming Slavia.

It will be interesting to see how Skoda positions the sub-4m SUV in India as the segment is highly price-sensitive and it could still be a couple of years away.