With each passing day, we are inching closer to the actual launch of the Skoda Kushaq in India. The Kushaq is one of the most awaited launches of 2021, and it has got the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos shaking in their boots. While there is no doubt that the Creta and Seltos are extremely popular, there is always a tinge of excitement in the air when an all-new car is on the horizon. That is even more true if that new car is an SUV (crossover, in this case) from a premium brand such as Skoda. News now is that Skoda India has commenced the production of the Kushaq at its plant in Pune.
As the first units of the Skoda Kushaq were rolled out, it is already known that customer deliveries will begin in July. The Skoda Kushaq is one of the most key cogs of the Volkswagen Group’s India 2.0 project. After much research, the automaker is keenly aware of the role pricing plays in the success (or failure) of a new car in India. However, despite all the cash crunch and volatility (due to Covid-19) in the market, many have been buying cars. Interestingly, this even includes the more expensive premium segment of the market. Soon enough, the Skoda Kushaq will occupy this very segment, though it is expected to be priced a little more aggressively than its Volkswagen cousin, the Taigun.
To keep the prices from soaring, the Skoda Kushaq capitalizes on localization – up to 95 percent of the components come from India. And just like its cousin, the Volkswagen Taigun, the Kushaq is based on the MQB-A0-IN platform.
On the styling front, the Skoda Kushaq features the brand’s butterfly front grille, slender LED headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lamps, and plastic body cladding all around. Meanwhile, the interior of the Kushaq gets a ‘floating’ 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, ventilated front seats, automatic climate control, an electric sunroof, a wireless charger, and a 7-speaker audio system.
Commenting on the Kushaq was Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Skoda/Volkswagen India. He said,
“The production rollout of the first car under the India 2.0 project marks a historic milestone for Skoda Auto and the Volkswagen Group in India. It stands testament to a great collaboration between our teams across the globe and here in India. We have managed to achieve localisation levels up to 95 percent, which truly puts the engineering and manufacturing expertise of India on the global map. With Skoda Kushaq, we will be present in one of the fastest-growing segments of the automotive industry. We look forward to offering customers an SUV that stands out for its emotive design, unmatched performance, superior build quality, outstanding safety, and numerous Simply Clever solutions, enabling an exemplary value proposition.”
As expected, the Skoda Kushaq will only be available with petrol engines in India. One of these will be a 1.5-liter four-cylinder TSI motor that should put out 148hp and 250Nm of torque. This would be mated to either a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or a 6-speed manual gearbox. In addition, there should also be a smaller 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI mill with around 113hp and 175Nm of torque. Skoda India would offer this three-popper engine with a 6-speed torque converter automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.