Czech automaker Skoda on Thursday globally unveiled its all new SUV Kushaq which would take on the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos in the fastest growing mid-sized SUV segment in the domestic market.
The model is the first production car as part of the company's India 2.0 project.
Under the lead responsibility of Skoda Auto, Volkswagen Group is investing 1 billion euros in its model campaign in the Indian subcontinent to strengthen its presence.
"Today is a very special day for Skoda and Volkswagen.
"With the world premiere of the Skoda Kushaq, we are launching our model campaign on the Indian market and are fulfilling the mandate Volkswagen Group tasked us with roughly two and a half years ago when we were asked to assume responsibility for the Indian market," Skoda Auto CEO Thomas Schafer said in a virtual unveiling event.
The company is now focusing on a smooth market launch and the successful start of a new model, while setting the course for the next steps on the Indian subcontinent, he added.
Commenting on the model, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd managing director Gurpratap Boparai said the latest addition to the Skoda SUV family puts forth a compelling combination of design, performance, build quality, value proposition, safety, and clever solutions.
The first product designed and developed under the INDIA 2.0 project and based on the MQB A0 IN platform, the Kushaq is inspired by the diversity of the vibrant nation yet resonates with the sensibilities of a global audience, he added.
"With the Skoda Kushaq, we are poised to tap the burgeoning demand for mid-size SUVs – a segment set to grow multifold over the next few years in India," Boparai noted.
To achieve the desired localisation level of 95 per cent the automaker has set up a new MQB production line at its Pune plant.
The company said the mid-sized SUV would come with two petrol engines with power output ranging between 85 kW (115 PS) and 110 kW (150 PS).
The BSVI compliant engine comes mated with a six-speed manual gearbox, a six-speed automatic and a seven-speed DSG transmission.
The Kushaq comes with various active and passive safety features including hill-hold control and a tyre pressure monitor system, up to six airbags among others.
The model also comes with a choice of two modern infotainment systems,each of which enables smartphone integration via SmartLink technology.
The SUV is 4,221 mm long, 1,760 mm wide and has a height of 1,612 mm.
Its long wheelbase of 2,651 mm – which is among the longest in the segment – and a ground clearance of 188 mm, the automaker said.
The Kushaq is based on the MQB-A0-IN, a variant of the modular MQB platform specially adapted by Skoda for the Indian market.
The company would start taking orders for the SUV from June with the deliveries expected to begin from July.
Under the India 2.0 Project, German automotive group Volkswagen had announced in 2018 that it would invest 1 billion euro between 2019 and 2021 as part of its strategy to enhance presence in India which will be led by group firm Skoda Auto.
Skoda Auto has been responsible for pressing ahead with the India 2.0 project on behalf of Volkswagen Group since June 2018 and has also been orchestrating the activities of the Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini brands in India.
Under the project, Skoda was envisaged to set up an engineering design and development centre at Pune besides enhancing capacities at the group's two plants at Aurangabad and Pune.