Skoda’s Juke scooped
Czech marque’s third SUV
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