The Skoda Kushaq will be one of the most exciting new car launches in 2021 and the carmaker has announced that the mid-size SUV will see its global unveil in March 2021. The Kushaq was first previewed as the Skoda Vision IN Concept at the 2020 Auto Expo and now Skoda has given us a glimpse at the Kushaq prototype ahead of its global premiere. Skoda has also revealed a few interesting details of the Kushaq, including its engine options, dimensions and features. Let's take a closer look at what's in store.
The Skoda Kushaq will be the first Skoda Auto Volkswagen India product that will 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. While the carmaker is yet to reveal the Kushaq’s exterior dimensions, they have revealed that it will have a wheelbase of 2,651mm. Now that is longer than the wheelbase of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos (2,610mm) but it is also longer than even the Karoq. That should really translate to generous space on the inside.
Skoda have also revealed that the 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. This engine will come mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed 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 is the variant that enthusiasts should really be looking out for. There will however be no diesel engine on offer.
Although the prototype model is still wearing heavy camouflage, we can confirm that the production-spec Kushaq will be quite close to the Vision IN Concept in terms of design. It will sport Skoda's signature butterfly grille along with a split LED headlamps setup. It looks quite butch and truly SUV-ish with an upright bonnet, high ground clearance and generous body cladding all around. The flared wheel arches and the large alloy wheels from the concept will certainly be toned down. The prototype model can be seen wearing 17-inch wheels. The final production model could be offered with larger 18-inch wheels for a better stance.
Skoda has however not revealed the interior design of the Kushaq yet. We expect the design to be quite similar to the Vision IN Concept. Fit and finish levels and quality of materials will also be of typical Skoda standards. The carmaker however did reveal a few features that the Kushaq will come equipped with. The Kushaq will be the first Skoda in India to be offered with the brand's new connected car tech with over-the-air updates. It will also feature an automatic climate control, a sunroof, and cruise control. Safety too will be a top priority with six airbags, ABS with EBD, parking sensors, electronic stability control, hill hold control, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Following its global unveil in March, the Skoda Kushaq will hit the market by May/June 2021. Skoda has thrown everything into the mix to make the Kushaq a successful product but pricing will still be the key. Skoda is reportedly eyeing a very aggressive price positioning for the Kushaq in India and we expect it to range between INR 9-17 lakh (ex-showroom). Will it have what it takes to dethrone the segment leaders - Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos? We will only know in time.