Earlier last month, Skoda unveiled the production-spec Kushaq compact-SUV in India. The Skoda Kushaq was first previewed as the Vision IN Concept at the 2020 Auto Expo. The Kushaq is the first Skoda Auto Volkswagen India product under the India 2.0 strategy and is also the first vehicle to be underpinned by the MQB-A0-IN platform. This is a heavily localized version (with up to 95% local content) of VW Group's smallest modular platform, the MQB-A0. Ahead of its launch sometime in mid-2021, here's your first look at the Skoda Kushaq on our roads, showing its strong road presence.
The first thing that strikes you about the Kushaq is obviously its design. Skoda has taken a very sophisticated approach for the styling of the Kushaq. The sharp lines and creases and the bold detailing on the Kushaq give it a very handsome and European look. The face is characterized by a prominent and wide Skoda butterfly grille, flanked by a split-headlamp setup on either side. The Kushaq comes wearing heavy body cladding all around, and the rugged-looking skid plates on the front and rear bumper further add to its SUV-appeal. It looks quite butch and truly SUV-ish with its upright bonnet and flared wheel arches.
On the inside, the Kushaq comes with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment screen that takes center stage on the dashboard. The cabin boasts of a dual-tone black-and-white color scheme with a gloss-black finish on several surfaces, adding some visual drama. The other most notable thing about the Kushaq's interior is its two-spoke steering wheel that seems to be a straight lift from the 2021 Superb. Some of the highlight features on the Kushaq include ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, six speakers and a 50w subwoofer, wireless Smartlink, electric sunroof, touch-based climate controls, my Skoda connect app and much more.
The Skoda Kushaq will be offered with two petrol engine options in India. VW Group's 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine will be the mainstay on the Kushaq and it produces 115PS of power and 175Nm of torque. This engine will come mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Skoda will also be offering a larger 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol engine that will come mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual. This engine produces 150PS and 250Nm of peak torque. This is the same engine that does duty on the Karoq and the VW T-Roc. Both of these engines are now being locally manufactured in India. There will however be no diesel engine on offer.
Being based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, the Skoda Kushaq will be sharing its underpinning with the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun, which will also be its arch rival. It will also take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Due to heavy localization and sharing of essential components with other models, Skoda should be able to position the Kushaq very aggressively in the market. We expect the prices to range between INR 10-16 lakh (ex-showroom). The Kushaq is expected to hit the market by May/June 2021.