The upcoming Skoda Kamiq mid-size SUV was spied on Indian roads for the first time. Skoda Auto India is gearing up for its ‘India 2.0’ business strategy and plans to launch quite a few products in a few years’ time. The Skoda Kamiq could be the first product under the strategy and would be heavily localised to bring the prices down.
The Skoda Kamiq is already available in foreign markets and the example you see here seems to be in the middle stage of its conversion to Indian specifications. The design is in line with other modern Skoda products; clean and sharp cuts with ample hints to the brand’s DNA.
The interiors boast of a Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster (revolutionised by Audi) and a 9.2-inch infotainment system. Like the bigger Skoda Kodiaq seven-seater SUV, the Kamiq comes with some interesting bits such as retracting door-edge protectors and umbrella holders.
In European markets, the Kamiq gets three engine choices: 1.0-litre turbo petrol (in two states of tune), 1.5-litre turbo petrol and 1.6-litre diesel. In India, the engine choices would be different. It will most likely be the same as that for affordable Skoda or Volkswagen products such as the Rapid and Vento.
The entry-level Skoda Rapid sedan comes with two engine options: 1.6 MPi petrol and 1.5 TDi diesel. The petrol variants make 104bhp and 153Nm while being mated to a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The diesel power plant generates 109bhp and 250Nm of torque; coupled to either a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG automatic.
If the FWD Skoda Kamiq gets these engine choices, the output might be slightly tweaked. Expected starting prices are in the range of Rs 12-13 lakh ex-showroom; making it a premium alternative to the likes of the Hyundai Creta or even the Kia Seltos. It will even rival the likes of Tata Harrier and Jeep Compass.
Recently, the CEO of Skoda Auto, Bernhard Maier shared that the company’s focus is on SUVs. The Indian market has always had an inclination towards SUVs or generally anything with good ground clearance. This is also the reason why compact-crossovers and ‘SUV look-alikes’ are becoming increasingly popular in the country.
However, Skoda operates in the premium and entry-level luxury segments of the market and is expected to sell only high-quality products (in Indian standards). In fact, cars such as the Skoda Superb and Octavia are often regarded as a cheaper alternative to the likes of the popular Germans (Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz). Being a Volkswagen product, Skoda models are almost on par with lower-line Audi models.