Czech automaker Škoda will unveil on May 18 a compact sport utility vehicle – Karoq, what it says is “the next milestone in SUV strategy”.
Karoq, a five-seat SUV will be largely based on design cues of the Kodiaq SUV, which has been unveiled globally and will come to India around the festive season this year.
Like Kodiaq was named after an Alaskan bear, its brother Karoq too gets its name from the same region. According to Škoda’s teaser, “One of Alaska’s native tribes called an arrow ‘Ruq’ while the Alutiiq people of Kodiak, Alaska, call a car “Kaa’raq”. Combine these two with an inventive IQ and you get another way to name a car.”
Thus, Kaa’raq + Ruq = Karoq -- the car with arrow.
Though Karoq will replace the Yeti in Škoda’s portfolio, its shape and design are in no way Yeti-like. The beefed-up box has been done away with, and now we see slants, flow-lines and muscles of a typical Škoda.
Karoq is based on Volkswagen’s shared MQB platform, which also underpins its entry-level SUV -- the Audi Q2. According to some reports, the petrol Karoq may come in two trims -- 1.0-litre or a 1.5-litre engines, while the diesel engines will be of 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre capacity, with output power ranging between 115bhp and 187bhp.
Škoda may mate the engines to a seven-speed DSG gearbox. While the 1.5-litre TSI engine can clock 0-100kph in 8.4 seconds, the new 2.0-litre diesel engine is touted to go past 100 mark in 7.8sec.
Besides, the Czech automaker will provide full LED headlights and a Škoda- first digital instrument panel.
Yeti, Škoda’s only SUV badge, was a great success in Europe, having sold over 630,000 cars globally since its 2009 debut. So the company’s burying the Yeti to name this compact SUV Karoq comes as a surprisingly brave move.
Though there’s very little for Škoda Karoq to take forward from the Yeti, the comparison with the predecessor is obvious.
Whether Karoq will come to India is not known yet. But after the launch of Kodiaq by this year-end, Škoda could bring the compact SUV to India as well, given the growth of the sub-four-metre SUV segment in the market with models such as the Ford EcoSport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza on the forefront.
Skoda will pull the wraps off the Karoq in Stockholm on May 18 and will launch in the second half of 2017.