Skoda is reportedly planning to enter the compact SUV space, which is growing at an insane pace throughout the world, in a couple of years. Though not official, it is safe to assume that Skoda is probably working on a compact SUV to cash in from this booming segment. Also, Skoda is rapidly expanding its SUV offensive of late post the unveiling of its first-7 seat, India-bound offering, the Kodiaq.
The new compact SUV is likely to be based on the MQB A0 platform – the smallest avatar of VW’s modular MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform – which underpins cars such as the new sixth-gen Polo and Seat Ibiza along with compact SUVs such as the Seat Arona and the VW T-ROC (both will rival Skoda’s new offering).
Though the model is probably being developed behind closed doors and is yet to get its official confirmation, we believe that, like the Kodiaq and Karoq (Yeti's replacement), it’s name too will will have its roots in Alaska. Ironic, considering Skoda doesn’t operate in North America yet! Further, in terms of styling as well, the compact SUV is expected to resemble the Kodiaq and the Karoq.
Since it is expected to be based on the MQB A0 platform, Skoda’s compact SUV will have access to VW Group’s latest powertrain options. Engine options could range from a 1.0-litre TSI to a 1.5-litre TSI EVO petrol motors to a 1.6-litre TDI diesel. The MQB A0 platform is 4x4 compatible and it is likely that the upcoming compact SUV from Skoda could feature an all-wheel drive system as well. Transmission options might include 5- and 6-speed manuals and a 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch automatic). We cannot rule out a hybrid version as well considering their growing popularity and the pressure from various governments across the world. Meanwhile, Skoda is set to launch its first electrified model with the launch of the Superb plug-in hybrid in 2019.
Skoda is likely to introduce this compact SUV in India as this segment is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. However, it totally depends on whether VW Group decides to localise the new MQB A0 platform as assembling a sub-15 lakh vehicle would not be financially viable. A little while ago, VW Group was considering producing cars using Tata’s new AMP platform. But that looks highly unlikely as the two manufacturers have now called off the deal. Further, if Volkswagen does localise the MQB A0 platform in India, it is possible that we could soon get our hands on the new Polo and the Vento!