Skoda has just confirmed that they will be launching the Karoq midsize SUV in India in April 2020. In an interview with Autocar India, Zac Hollis, Director, Sales, Service and Marketing, Skoda India said, “From a product portfolio, 2020 is a year of consolidation. We are bringing lots of niche products in India, like the Skoda Karoq in April 2020”.
Te Karoq will however come to India as a CBU (completely built unit). The Indian government has eased out the vehicle import norms and carmakers can now import 2,500 passenger vehicles a year without requiring them to be homologated in India. As a result, this will allow Skoda to bring the Karoq to India more quickly and also save up on the costs of local homologation. However, the import duties still cannot be avoided and it will be quite expensive for its size.
The Karoq is expected to come to India with a 1.5-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine which puts out 150 bhp. It will of course be BS-6 compliant and it will come mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Skoda is also considering a diesel option for the future. Internationally, the SUV also gets a 115hp, 1.0-litre, TSI three-cylinder unit, while diesel options include a new 115hp, 1.6-litre engine; the 150hp 2.0-litre unit from the Kodiaq; and a range-topping 189hp, 2.0-litre mill.
All the upcoming cars from Skoda will be launched under 2.0 strategy and will follow an MQB AO IN platform. The new platform uses high strength steel which not only makes the car lighter but also reduces emissions. The Karoq will borrow design inspiration from its elder sibling, Kodiaq. It will still differentiate itself pretty well from its siblings with a split LED headlamp design, clean lines and perfect proportions.
Just yesterday, we also broke the news that Skoda will be bringing the mighty Euro-spec Octavia RS to India next year – another model to fall under the 2,500 cars rule. Hollis has said, “We will bring niche products to advertise them in an innovative way and to get consumers talking about them and to see at least the same volume as 2019. So 2019 will finish at around 15,000, and for 2020 the target is also to sell around 15,000 cars.”