Skoda India is testing diesel engines for bigger cars but is not likely to launch them anytime soon
With the VW Group’s India 2.0 strategy about to kick off, Skoda is going all out to demonstrate its commitment to the market by Indianizing its product lineup. The production version of the Vision IN crossover concept which was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 has been named Kushaq, a word derived from Sanskrit.
Skoda Kushaq spied again
The Skoda Kushaq, which is essentially the Kamiq with India-specific changes, is set to be launched later this year. The production-ready camouflaged test mules continue to test extensively and we have the latest set of spyshots shared by automotive enthusiasts Pinemaster and Vinit Phadnis.
Skoda has recently teased the Kushaq with the information that it will be launched in the summer of 2021. Underpinned by the MQB A0 IN platform, the crossover SUV will have high local content to arrive at a competitive price point. Compared to the Europe-spec Kamiq, the Indian version will feature minor visual tweaks, color options and interior trims to suit the local tastes.
Feature highlights of the Skoda Kushaq include LED headlights, dual-tone alloy wheels, 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 10.25-inch TFT color instrument display, automatic climate control, TPMS and the usual safety features.
Will there be a diesel?
The Skoda Kushaq will be offered with a 1.5-liter TSI turbocharged direct injection petrol engine at the time of launch. The motor produces 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque, and will come paired with a 7-speed DSG. The entry level variants of the SUV could receive a 110 hp 1.0-liter TSI unit mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. However, there won’t be a diesel engine option, at least not at the beginning.
In a recent interaction with a Twitter follower, Skoda India’s sales, service and marketing director Zac Hollis confirmed that the company is testing diesel engines in India for its bigger models. At the same time, he also acknowledged that demand for diesel models are falling at the moment.
Also, latest emission norms are becoming harder to achieve. He also hinted that with even more stringent norms coming in 2023, diesel engines could be a challenge.
It is to be noted that Skoda Kushaq’s primary rivals Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos both offer diesel engine options. However, with petrol variants steadily gaining popularity, we think the Czech automaker will not be missing out too much.
Participating in one of the highly lucrative and fast growing segments in the country would go a long way in boosting Skoda India’s prospects. The company is also working on a Rapid replacement with bigger dimensions in addition to evaluating more body styles for our market in the medium term future. The new generation Octavia is also slated to introduced in the second quarter of this year.