The talk of the town, off-late, has been about the upcoming Creta and Seltos- rival, the Skoda Kushaq. It is the mid-size SUV, which is the result of VW-Skoda’s India 2.0 strategy. The two carmakers will share the MQB A0 IN platform to develop cars for our market. These platforms have been specifically designed keeping our sensibilities and conditions in mind. The Kushaq, meaning Emporer in Sanskrit, could be the make or break product for Skoda in India going forward. hence, they have better big on this and have achieved over 92% localization to keep the costs in check. Skoda aims to reach 95% localization in the times to come. This will be the most essential aspect of the Kushaq if they could price it aggressively because it has to take on the highest-selling SUV in the country, the Hyundai Creta. This is not going to be easy. But the sketches of the production-ready Kushaq are out and they look promising.
Skoda Kushaq – Sketches and Design
The overall design language screams “Sporty” and “Muscular”, no matter where one looks from. Skoda has made sure that the production-spec Kushaq stays heavily inspired by the Vision IN concept, showcased at the Auto Expo 2020. Based on the India-specific MQB A0 IN platform ensures that eh Kushaq will have the longest wheelbase in the segment with 2671mm. The front end looks typically Skoda with the butterfly grille, two-part LED headlamps with DLRs and sporty skid plates for underride protection. The sharp creases on the sides and the roof rails give it a proper SUVish stance and bold muscular body type. Coming at the rear, it looks relatively uncluttered, although there are sharp angles and creases and a wraparound sharp LED tail lamp unit to make the rear look wider. The spoiler gives the rear a premium touch with the name “Skoda” written across the boot lid.
If it comes to designing, then the Kushaq will be among the most good-looking cars in the segment. Again, if it manages to get everything right, a lot will depend on the pricing of the Kushaq. With the plan of 95% localization till the launch, the expected prices of the Skoda Kushaq will be in the Rs 10 lakh to Rs 17 lakh, ex-showroom bracket. Considering the high quality of materials associated with the Skoda brand, this will be a real deal and people might actually give the Czech carmaker a shot.
Skoda Kushaq – Engine and Transmission
One of the things that is revealed by the automaker is the engine and transmission combinations that the Kushaq will come with. We will see the legendary 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine and its bigger sibling, the 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol unit in action with the Kushaq. Complementing these engines will be various transmission options including a 6-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic and a 7-speed DSG (DCT) gearbox. It is common knowledge that these engine-gearbox combinations are directly sourced from Volkswagen and will be seen on the Taigun as well. Both these engine options will have their own characteristics and we don’t think that you will feel underpowered in the smaller engine or overpowered in the bigger one. The Kushaq will be launched on March 18, 2021.