The First Kushaq Is Ready Ahead Of The SUV’s Launch This Month
- Jun 7, 2021
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With a presence in the Indian automotive space for nearly two decades, Skoda knows the pulse of premium car buyers rather well. The brand maintains a balance of luxury and performance that can be experienced across its product range which sees a mix of German engineering and its intelligent design and attention to detail. The Rapid, Octavia, and Superb sedans enjoy dedicated followings, while the Kodiaq has shown us full-size SUVs can be elegant and offer levels of refinement not provided by a ladder frame chassis. It is also the only mainstream brand in India to offer true performance models, such as the 245PS Octavia vRS.
With this recipe for success, Skoda is all set to enter the premium mid-size SUV segment with the Kushaq, a pocket-friendly but premium offering for those looking to upgrade from budget-friendly Korean brands.
Skoda’s Take on a Premium Mid-Size SUV
The name Kushaq comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Kushak’ meaning king or emperor. The SUV’s bold and striking design exudes an aura that befits its name. Its muscular shapes and alloy wheel design give it a stance that lends it immense road presence. The Kushaq’s prominent 3D grille design also helps it stand out in the increasingly crowded SUV space.
The Kushaq’s cabin immediately comes across as one that is well thought out with its clean and ergonomic layout. Its interior is quite spacious too with a wheelbase that is not only longer than its direct rivals, but also than that of the Karoq. Staying true to the brand’s ‘Simply Clever’ motto, Skoda has integrated smart touches into the cabin. That includes features such as smartphone pockets for rear passengers, utility recess on the dashboard, non-slip base in the cup holder, ticket holder on the A-pillar, and bag hooks in the boot.
Like all Skodas, the Kushaq gets plenty of premium cabin comforts and conveniences. It features ventilated front seats, a sunroof, automatic headlamps and rain wipers, and paddle shifters in the top-spec Style variant. In the centre of the Kushaq’s dashboard stands a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Wireless Skoda Play app, and Skoda’s connected car technology called MySkoda Connect. It allows users to access a range of vehicle data, from live location tracking to driving data. The Kushaq also gets several modern features, including the Type-C USB ports at the front and rear, ambient lighting, and touch controls for the automatic climate control system.
Superior Safety Standards
Skoda India has always prioritised safety and with the Kushaq, it will continue to uphold its reputation in that aspect. The SUV not only meets safety norms but exceeds them with segment-first features such as electronic stability control (ESC). The higher trims come equipped with six airbags, a rear parking camera, ISOFIX child seat mounts, hill hold control, multi-collision braking, and traction control. The Kushaq is also equipped with driver assistance systems such as cruise control and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Power in Spades
Skoda powertrains are popular with driving enthusiasts as they match the unrivalled driving dynamics of the cars. The Kushaq gets the choice of two powerful turbocharged petrol engines: 1.0-litre TSI and 1.5-litre TSI. These TSI engines feature direct fuel injection and use German-engineered technology to offer an exciting balance between performance and efficiency. The 1.0-litre turbo-motor makes 115PS of power, paired to either a 6-speed manual or torque converter automatic. The larger engine produces 150PS of power, coupled to either a 6-speed manual or the renowned 7-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic.
The 1.5-litre TSI also gets Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) that can deactivate two of the four cylinders under low load to improve efficiency, a feature often reserved for far more expensive models. So not only is this engine more powerful than its rivals, it's smarter too.
The Skoda India 2.0 Project
Besides designing and engineering a great product, the brand attributes its success to delivering a great after sales experience with a low cost of ownership. Skoda India has taken a big step forward with the Skoda 2.0 plan, under which it has managed up to 95 per cent localisation for the Kushaq. From the specially developed MQB-A0 IN platform underpinning the SUV to the 1.0-litre TSI and 1.5-litre TSI engines, localised manufacturing will enable the carmaker to price its premium offering, the Kushaq, quite aggressively.
The MQB-A0 IN platform is representative of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India’s commitment to our market. It is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A0 platform for models built to European specifications. Since it is a modular platform, it is likely to spawn a multitude of new India-specific products across segments, starting with the Kushaq SUV.
The Skoda 2.0 project is not just about the new but also for existing customers. The brand aims to continue building strong relationships with its loyal base by offering a hassle-free ownership experience. A strong aftersales programme with a high level of localisation will ensure the cost of ownership stays low, even for premium cars such as Skodas.
As part of the Skoda 2.0 strategy, the company has been working diligently over the past couple of years to redesign its dealer network and introduce customer-centric service initiatives. Skoda India has already started mobile units for doorstep service. Skoda plans to expand to 150 sales outlets and 125 service centres by the end of 2021, compared to 100 sales outlets and 60 service outlets at the start of the year. So from the day you decide to buy a Skoda, you can be rest assured you will be well looked after.
Kushaq Era to Begin Soon
The Kushaq is Skoda’s first new model for India in a while and what a car it is! From its exterior styling to its ergonomic cabin and its dynamic capabilities, it will definitely shake up the premium mid-size SUV space. Skoda intends to launch the Kushaq in India this summer, with prices to be announced by the end of June.
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