Skoda Auto India launched three new vehicles in India – the Karoq SUV, a facelifted Skoda Rapid with a new engine, and the Skoda Superb also with a new engine. Skoda India director of service, sales, and marketing, Zac Hollis, held a virtual press conference to launch the three vehicles.
Skoda has discontinued its entire line up of diesel vehicles. Hence, all three new launches today come only with petrol motors. However, these are turbocharged petrol engines that meet BS6 norms and don't compromise on performance. The VW group calls them TSI - turbocharged stratified injection - engines.
A key feature of these engines is that they feature cylinder deactivation technology - where one or two cylinders in a three- or four-cylinder engine can be temporarily shut down when idling to help in fuel efficiency.
Here are more details about these three new launches from Skoda.
The Skoda Karoq is the brand's latest SUV which will compete with the Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson. The prices for the Skoda Karoq start at Rs 24.99 lakh ex-showroom. It is slightly pricey considering it is imported as a completely built unit and not locally manufactured yet.
The Skoda Karoq comes with a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 150 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission driving the front wheels.
The Karoq looks like a miniature version of the Kodiaq and sports quite a generous feature list such as a digital instrument cluster, panoramic sunroof, LED headlamps, nine airbags and more.
The Skoda Rapid is the brand's entry-level car now (having discontinued the Fabia years ago). This mid-size sedan competes with the Volkswagen Vento, Hyundai Verna, and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Prices for the Skoda Rapid start at Rs 7.49 lakh and go up to Rs 11.79 lakh.
Skoda has discontinued the diesel variants of the Rapid and has now given it a 1-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor that puts out 110 PS of power and 175 Nm of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 18.97 Kmpl. (This motor can also be used with a 7-speed DCT, but that isn't on offer yet.)
It gets minor styling updates and new interior colour options. It also gets an updated infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The updated Skoda Superb comes with revised styling, with new fog lamps and LED headlamps. Prices for the Skoda Superb start at Rs 29.99 lakh going up to Rs 32.99 lakh ex-showroom. It has two trim options - the Sportline and L&K variants.
The Skoda Superb gets a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This motor puts out 190 PS of power and 320 Nm of torque. Skoda claims the car can do 0-100 kmph in 7.7 seconds.
The Superb doesn't really have any real competition in its segment as cars like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 are more expensive.
To get some customers into showrooms Skoda is offering financing options with 8.99 percent interest rate on 100 percent of the ex-showroom price. It also has an EMI holiday with a "Buy Now pay at Diwali" for the Skoda Rapid. On the Superb, it is offering a 57 percent assured price buyback offer after 36 months.
It has 80 dealers in 65 cities at the moment but is expanding. It plans to start selling 1 lakh cars annually by 2025, according to Hollis.