ŠKODA has revealed its intention to develop a new model that would compete directly with the Range Rover Evoque. The vehicle is expected to add to the ŠKODA range available in China.
The announcement of a coupé-SUV concept from the manufacturer was made at a recent press conference in Prague. Rumours that the model may eventually enter production first started to appear in 2013. They resurfaced during 2014, when ŠKODA revealed a wave of new cars which would launch by the end of this year.
That the vehicle will indeed become a reality is something of a shock. A move towards the fashionable crossover segment is a departure from the emphasis on solid reliability ŠKODA previously maintained. In developing this model, the manufacturer is being ambitious. There are already plans in motion to boost global sales of ŠKODA cars to 1.5 million over the next five years.
ŠKODA boss Bernhard Maier discussed the vehicle at the conference, teasing the potential details while refusing to be drawn on the official specifications.
As well as rivalling the Evoque, the three-door ŠKODA would be competing with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé and upcoming BMW X4. Trademark rugged style and 4x4 performance will be balanced with premium looks and increased quality.
This brand new vehicle has yet to be given a name, yet it has many similarities with the seven-seat ŠKODA KODIAQ. The KODIAQ itself will debut as a road-ready vehicle in October 2016, at the Paris Motor Show.
Prototype digital designs for the unnamed ŠKODA show a flowing roof shape and sweeping profile. These style cues reveal where coupé elements have been blended with the SUV body. The front face is expected to resemble that of the current Superb estate. At the rear of the model, pared-down style may be closer in looks to the Yeti.
A touchscreen at the centre console will become the highlight of the interior and the vehicle's technological hub. Drivers can expect the same high seating position that many other ŠKODA models provide.
Initially, the ŠKODA model would launch exclusively for the Chinese market during 2017. Drivers in the country are currently favouring sporty coupé vehicles. There is however a strong possibility that the Evoque rival would go on to debut in Europe in 2018.