Skoda’s Juke scooped

Czech mar­que’s third SUV

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - JAMES ATTWOOD

Skoda will launch a Nis­san Juke ri­val to sit along­side the larger Karoq and Ko­diaq SUVS in the Czech firm’s line-up.

The model is due to en­ter pro­duc­tion in 2019 along­side a new Rapid Space­back es­tate, which will be built on the same ver­sion of the Volk­swa­gen Group’s MQB A0 plat­form. The two mod­els will form part of a ma­jor prod­uct of­fen­sive from Skoda, which will in­clude the launch of at least two new cars each year un­til 2025.

The new model is be­ing billed as a cross­over rather than an SUV, but it is likely to fol­low the Alaskan-in­spired nam­ing con­ven­tion of the Karoq and Ko­diaq, with styling to en­sure that it fits in with Skoda’s grow­ing SUV fam­ily.

Although it will be built on the same ba­sic plat­form as the sim­i­lar-sized Seat Arona and Volk­swa­gen T-roc, the Skoda is un­der­stood to be a more car-based cross­over and is likely to ride lower. Whereas the Arona and T-roc are based on the Ibiza and Polo re­spec­tively, Skoda’s cross­over is con­ceived as a part­ner model to the Rapid Space­back, not the Fabia.

The Space­back will use a stretched ver­sion of the ver­sa­tile MQB A0 plat­form and it is likely to be more than 4.0m long to in­crease boot ca­pac­ity. Skoda’s cross­over is likely to use the same ex­tended wheel base plat­form, which would make the new cross­over longer than both the Arona and the T-roc.

The new Space­back is un­der­stood to be a com­pletely fresh de­sign, with a low pro­file and a more sculpted tail­gate, along with a large panoramic tinted glass roof. The wheel­base has been ex­tended to in­crease space and en­hance the car’s dy­namic pro­por­tions.

The cross­over will share Skoda’s re­cent de­sign lan­guage, which features com­mon el­e­ments such as the front grille treat­ment and strong side lines, ad­justed for each model in an at­tempt to pro­vide in­di­vid­ual ‘char­ac­ter’.

The new cross­over is de­signed for sale world­wide, in­clud­ing in Europe and China. Sources sug­gest that, ini­tially at least, it will be avail­able with front-wheel drive only.

Skoda sources be­lieve that SUV and cross­over sales could com­prise 40% of its to­tal vol­ume by 2025. The small SUV and cross­over seg­ment is be­lieved to be likely to make up the great­est pro­por­tion of to­tal SUV and cross­over sales and it will be es­pe­cially strong in Europe and China.

Pow­er­trains have not been de­cided yet, but it is likely that hybrid ver­sions will be con­sid­ered. Skoda will launch a facelifted Su­perb in early 2019 that is likely to fea­ture a plug-in hybrid vari­ant, a first for the firm. It is un­der­stood that model will be ca­pa­ble of 45- 50 miles of elec­tric-only driv­ing.

Skoda will also launch facelifted ver­sions of the Fabia and Fabia es­tate next year. The cars are based on the cur­rent model but fea­ture a re­freshed de­sign more in line with the brand’s re­cent launches.

New cross­over uses the same plat­form as the Rapid Space­back

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