Skoda plans to launch a large new SUV in 2016, company chief Winfried Vahland has confirmed to Autocar.
The new model is based on the largest version of the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform and is set to be a version of VW’s own CrossBlue SUV, due to be launched in 2015.
The as-yet-unnamed Skoda SUV will be a class up from the VW Tiguan, and insiders suggest it will measure around 4.6m in length. It will be offered with five-seat and seven-seat configurations, and with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
It is understood to be positioned as a more refined rival to the Hyundai Santa Fe. Skoda technical chief Frank Welsch described the new SUV as “the right concept for Skoda; it works perfectly with our brand values”.
The new SUV currently exists as a full-size clay model in Skoda’s design studio and early engineering work is now under way. Welsch said engine capacity is likely to be capped at 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units, with diesel-electric hybrid technology set to be offered. A 1.6-litre turbodiesel will be the base unit.
Skoda design chief Josef Kaban said: “Larger Skodas like this will employ bolder, more provocative styling - slightly different from the mainstream.”
Skoda is also plotting a third SUV which will be a similar size to the Skoda Yeti. The new model, which is expected to form part of the Yeti family, will adopt a more traditional SUV appearance.