Skoda will launch a large SUV in 2016 based on the VW Crossblue, itself based on VW Group’s MQB platform. The Czech carmaker’s boss Winfried Vahland told Autocar magazine that the SUV will arrive in 2016, a year after VW will have introduced the Crossblue in Europe.
The upcoming Skoda SUV is said to be around 4.6 meters (181.1 in) in length, which means it could be based on the shorter Crossblue concept, the one carrying the Coupe moniker. The report says Skoda will offer the SUV in five-seat and seven-seat configurations, as well as with front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
Skoda aims to position its large SUV as a rival to the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. According to Skoda technical chief Frank Welsch, the new SUV is “the right concept for Skoda, it works perfectly with our brand values”.
The project is said to be in its early stages, with designers working on a full-size clay model and engineering work only beginning. According to Welsch, the Skoda SUV won’t get engines larger than 2.0-liter four-cylinder units, with a 1.6-liter turbodiesel to be the base engine. Diesel-electric hybrid technology is also being considered.
As for styling, Skoda’s take on the Crossblue concept may be bolder and more provocative, “slightly different from the mainstream,” in Skoda design chief Josef Kaban’s words.
By Dan Mihalascu