SPRUNG undergoing final testing prior to a world premiere in Paris in September is the Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech brand’s long-awaited weapon against the Kia Sorento, Toyota Kluger, Hyundai Santa Fe and imminent all-new Mazda CX-9.
Expected to use a variation of the MQB modular transverse architecture underpinning the upcoming second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan, the Kodiaq will be more closely related to the production version of the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept that is also due out in 2017.
As the prototype reveals, the newcomer bears most of the design and proportion hallmarks of the ‘VisionS’ concept that appeared at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
At around 4.7 metres long, 1.9m wide and 1.7m high, it will also be the largest as well as roomiest Skoda in history, sitting well above the Skoda Yeti with family friendly third-row seating and – we hear – considerable space for luggage behind.
Australian versions are likely to score a variety of turbocharged four-cylinder engines driving either the front or all four wheels via six- or seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmissions.
While 1.4-litre TSI petrol and 1.6 TDI diesel turbos in several output varieties are earmarked for Europe, Australia is more likely to receive the torquier 2.0 TSI and TDI alternatives, including the 162kW TSI scorcher from the recently released Superb.
A 1.4 TSI hybrid with plug-in electric assistance is also on the cards from about 2019, though it remains to be seen whether that makes it Down Under.
The Kodiaq will likely kick off locally from around $40,000, opening up a whole new market for Skoda when it debuts late next year or in early 2018.
The Kodiaq name refers to a type of Alaskan bear.
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