Camouflaged test mules of Skoda Karoq SUV has been doing rounds intensely in India ahead of its launch sometime in April 2020. The sub-Kodiaq SUV will be positioned to target the likes of Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson. Images are credit to automotive enthusiasts Siddharth Patil and Hemanth Kumar.
Under the India 2.0 strategy, VW Group has handed over major responsibilities of its Indian operations to Skoda including product development. The Czech automaker is currently working on localizing the modular MQB A0 IN platform which is set to underpin an array of Skoda and VW models in the country in due course.
Meanwhile, the Karoq is expected to be imported into the country as a CBU. While such a move would put pressure on the pricing, it allows Skoda to field its contender in the promising premium compact SUV segment without too much delay. The Skoda SUV is expected to take advantage of the government’s relaxation of vehicle import rules that allows an automaker to import 2,500 units a year without undergoing homologation process.
The Karoq which has been having a strong start in Europe is available in a range of petrol and diesel engines. For the Indian market, the automaker is likely to start with a BS6-ready 1.5-liter TSI turbo petrol engine which puts out 150 hp. The motor will be mated either to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG.
Thanks to the CBU route, the Skoda Karoq is likely to have a low size-to-prize ratio but we expect the India-spec variants to be packed up to the brim with goodies. The premium compact SUV will be equipped with LED headlamps, alloy wheels, a comprehensive touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone automatic climate control, multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, cruise control, powered front seats, etc.
Skoda India is gearing up to field a comprehensive lineup of SUVs to keep up with the customer preference. The Karoq will be accompanied by a smaller India-spec Hyundai Creta-sized compact crossover which will be previewed by the Vision IN design concept at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020. The SUV is question will essentially be a heavily localized version of Skoda Kamiq with market-specific styling tweaks.