Skoda India will have a peaceful couple of years with regards to moderate vehicles. In 2021 however, not one but rather two all-new vehicles will be introduced: First will be the Kamiq, a compact SUV that will compete Hyundai Creta and second will most likely be substitution of the Rapid in C-Segment, which will take on the likes of Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Honda City.
Zac Hollis, Director, Sales, and Marketing for Skoda India, said that the vehicle that will replace the Rapid will launch before the end of 2021, and will utilize the MQB A0 platform that Skoda is using explicitly for developing markets like India and Brazil. The vehicle will most likely be notchback.
Mr. Hollis additionally discussed how emission norms are getting stricter in India and Skoda is thus planning to bring CNG as a fuel option in next-gen Rapid. As the Indian government is planning to increase the CNG pumps from 1400 to 10,000, CNG seems to be the more viable option for C-segment buyers of the near future.
Hollis said, “The world premiere for the SUV in India is slated to happen in 2020, and customers can start buying it in early 2021. Then, right at the end of 2021, we will launch the notchback. The market is moving more towards petrol. In fact, Europe has transitioned to petrol very quickly. It surprised everybody. In fact, it’s causing big problems as we have a shortage of petrol engines across all of our production facilities. So, I can see India also moving towards petrol as the cost of upgrading diesel engines to BS6 is very expensive. Other competitors are doing it too. But you’ll see a significant rise in the prices of diesel cars as we move forward. And that’s going to reduce the market for diesel even more because the business case for buying a diesel will only become weaker. We have hybrids in Europe, and we will introduce the tech in the Superb and Octavia too. But there’s not enough capacity for the demand in Europe. So, it’s unlikely that we will bring the hybrids into India. But, instead, we are seriously considering CNG. The government has also put their money behind CNG in the short to medium term. In the long term, they’re investing in electric vehicles like most markets. The government has also confirmed that it will increase the number of CNG filling stations from 1,400 to 10,000. When that happens, and when brands like Skoda start introducing CNG options, the market acceptance of CNG will also go up. All manufacturers have to meet average CO2 emissions as per the CAFE Norms, in 2022-23 and to do that we will need to look at alternative fuel technology. We have no choice.”
Simply putting, Skoda India is betting on petrol engines for its future cars, including the next-gen Rapid and the Kamiq compact SUV. The two vehicles could be offered with a 1 liter- turbocharged TSI petrol engine with around 110 Bhp- 200 Nm on tap. This engine will be mated to 6- speed manual and 7- speed dual clutch gearbox.
A front wheel drive format will be standard on the two vehicles, which are relied upon to absolutely dump diesel engines. We likewise expect the 1-liter TSI engine to also come with a CNG option. A bigger 1.5 liter- TSI turbo petrol engine could likewise be offered on the two vehicles.
Skoda India has been instrumental in re-building and restricting the Euro-centered MQB platform of the Volkswagen group for the Indian market. The limitation and re-designing will result in the MQB A0 platform, which will be utilized by smaller vehicles sold by both Volkswagen and Skoda in developing markets including India. Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further updates on the upcoming Skoda MQB A0 based sedan.