Skoda boss Bernhard Maier has confirmed that a coupe derivative of the upcoming Kodiaq large SUV will be sold in China, and it could make its way to Europe as well.
Speaking at a press conference in Prague, Maier told us: "The coupe SUV is a wonderful derivative. We have not decided to bring it to the European market yet, but it will be coming to China. It's too early to talk about specifications, though."
As seen in our exclusive images, the coupe-SUV will focus on style over practicality in a first for the brand. "We are going to make the brand even more emotional," Maier said. It's set to take on popular coupe-style SUVs like the Range Rover Evoque and BMW X4, but it's likely to offer much better value for money that those upmarket models.
The as-yet-unnamed competitor for the BMW X4 and forthcoming Mercedes GLC Coupe will get a swept-back profile and sloping roofline, plus tall suspension and a raised driving position. Expect big alloy wheels and a Superb-style front end, as well as sharp creases in the bodywork and a high boot lip for that coupe look.
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Inside, the new car will feel largely familiar to owners of current Skodas and other VW Group models, although we expect advances in technology to make it sharper and even more solidly built than any of the brand’s existing cars. A central touchscreen is likely to come as standard, along with various market-leading safety technologies and infotainment options.
Power will come from a range of existing VW Group petrol and diesel engines, while buyers will be offered a selection of manual and DSG automatic gearboxes. A GreenLine version is also set to be an option, promising CO2 emissions of less than 110g/km and 60mpg fuel economy. Plug-in hybrids could also join the range at a later date.
While a Skoda spokeswoman wouldn’t officially confirm the coupe-SUV, she did hint that such a car is under consideration.
“We will be growing our SUV range in the future,” she said. “All of our new models will offer class-leading space, value and quality. So long as these can be included, the sky is the limit.”
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As a result, this new model is likely to better the BMW X4 for boot space, with more head and legroom and improved internal storage. The X4 features a 500-litre boot (50 litres down on the boxier X3), with a maximum of 1,400 litres if you fold the rear seats flat. As with the BMW, the Skoda will remain a strict five-seater, despite being based on the upcoming seven-seat flagship SUV.
As is the case with Skoda’s popular Yeti, the coupe-cum-SUV will be offered with a choice of front and four-wheel drive. The raised ride height will help with ground clearance, while underbody cladding will give it a degree of off-road ability. Like the BMW, though, this new model will be primarily designed for the road – with weighty steering and adjustable driving modes.
The new coupe-SUV will form part of a four-strong crossover range due to be revealed in the coming months. After the introduction of Skoda’s all-new seven-seater in 2016, the brand will launch the new Yeti 12 months later. The revised model will build on the current car’s success, albeit with a more conventional SUV body, rather than the existing model’s van-like shape.
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Later that year, the Yeti will spawn a smaller, supermini-sized SUV designed to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke and innovative Citroen C4 Cactus. Maier told us that "another specific model for China has been decided already, which will then be on the market in 2018. This will be a crossover vehicle with a strong SUV connection."
It’s hoped the four new cars will combine with the existing model range to help Skoda increase sales to a whopping 1.5 million globally by 2020 – which would be up nearly 50 per cent on its 2014 figure.
With a new Fabia and Superb already on sale and a facelifted Octavia penned for 2017, there will soon be a Skoda for (almost) every taste. Our sources did say, though, that a Skoda convertible is “totally out of the question”.
Do you like the look of this Skoda coupe-SUV? Let us know in the comments below...