Skoda Vision S concept previews 7-seat Skoda 'Kodiak' SUV

2 Feb, 2016 7:00am John McIlroy

Skoda’s Visions S concept car will debut at the Geneva Motor Show hinting at a new large SUV due in early 2017

This is Skoda’s long-awaited family-sized, 7-seat SUV, previewed in a design sketch of a near-production concept that the Czech manufacturer will unveil at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next month. 

Known as the Skoda Vision S concept, it's expected to be called the 'Kodiak' when it goes on sale as the Czech firm has registered the name as an official trademark.

The show car gives a clear idea of how Skoda’s line-up of new SUVs could look as it’s rolled out over the next four years. The process will start with this model, the largest, which will take the fight to the Land Rover Discovery Sport when it hits showrooms early next year.

• Best SUVs on the market

The sketches reveal a prominent front grille and slim headlights, styled on the latest-generation Superb hatchback. They also show how Skoda design chief Jozef Kaban has brought the secondary lights higher, so they sit just below the main units.

There’s also a clamshell bonnet – a feature that’s likely to be a common trait across each of Skoda’s SUVs – while at the rear there’s a distinctive crease below the hatchback glass that has a slight whiff of BMW X5. The roofline tapers down at the back, although an even more style-focused coupe version is also in the pipeline. 

The production version of the Vision S will be 4.7m long – slightly longer than a Nissan X-Trail. It will be offered in a five-seat layout as standard, but you can also order an extra pair of seats in the boot. Regardless of configuration, the 60:40 split-fold rear seat will slide 17cm forwards or backwards, allowing owners to prioritise boot space or rear passenger room as required.

• Geneva Motor Show 2016 preview

The engine line-up will feature familiar VW Group motors, predicted to start with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol. The core motor will be diesel, though – a 1.6 or 2.0-litre, in various states of tune, including the 237bhp twin-turbodiesel from the VW Passat. Front and four-wheel drive will be offered, along with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Skoda also has access to plug-in hybrid technology; the production Vision S could feasibly offer the same set-up as the forthcoming VW Tiguan GTE. However, it has yet to be confirmed for production, as senior company officials are wary of introducing a Skoda that could cost nearly £50,000 in high-end trims and finishes.

There will also be a motorsport-influenced Sportline edition, and a Scout version with more body cladding and rugged styling.

The Vision S will have the Discovery Sport, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, as key rivals, but it’s likely to undercut all three, with a starting price of around £25,000. 

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