Although the automobile industry is currently going through the BS-6 transition phase, Volkswagen Group’s India 2.0 plan has been progressing pretty smoothly. Particularly as Volkswagen does not have a very good history with emission norms. Nevertheless, Zac Hollis, Director – Sales, Service and Marketing, Skoda Auto India had earlier confirmed that post the BS-6 emissions deadline, Skoda will discontinue all their diesel models for some time. Now, we have come to know that the Skoda Superb facelift and the Kodiaq will get the 2.0L TSI petrol engines from next year.
Skoda will however bring back diesel engines for some of its bigger cars later in the future though. Hollis said,“Our BS6 engines will be petrol first, with diesel offered going forward. We have some fantastic TSI petrol engines that we will bring and the market is also moving towards petrol.” As for the diesel cars, Hollis said,”Now is a great time to buy diesel cars, particularly from Skoda, because when it comes to BS6, there will be a period of time that we don’t have a diesel offering in the market.”
The 2.0L TDI diesel engine is offered in all of Skoda’s cars except for the Rapid sedan. It comes in the Octavia, the Superb and the Kodiaq as well. The Octavia can still do without a diesel engine as one of its key rival – the Hyundai Elantra facelift – comes as a petrol only model. However, the Kodiaq is a diesel only model. So for the Kodiaq, Skoda will introduce a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine. Hollis commented on this saying, “We will have a very strong petrol engine for the Kodiaq. For someone who thought the 150hp diesel was slightly underpowered, we need to have a strong petrol coming in.”
Even the Superb will be offered with the same 2.0L petrol engine. The Superb facelift is expected to launch in India in February 2020. Over 70% of Superb’s sales in India comes from the TSI petrol engines and the lack of a diesel engine wouldn’t really hurt the Superb in its executive sedan segment.
Now talking about the 2.0L TSI petrol engine, we have already seen this engine earlier in the Octavia RS. The 2.0L TSI petrol engine in the Octavia RS produces 190 bhp and 320 Nm of torque. The current 2.0-litre diesel in the Kodiaq makes 150hp and 340Nm of torque. This new engine will surely liven things up for the seven-seat SUV, although we are not exactly sure about the state of tune of the engine.
The Superb facelift will get the same engine where it will come mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with power being sent to only the front wheels. The Kodiaq will also use the same engine-gearbox combination coupled with all-wheel drive.
The year ahead is surely going to difficult for Skoda with rising costs due to BS6 norms, lack of diesel options, a market under pressure and a limited dealer network. However, zac Hollis is positive about the situation and said, “We will bring niche products, advertise them in an innovative way and to get consumers talking about them and 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.”