Upon launch, Kushaq is expected to be priced at Rs 10-17 lakh with Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos as targeted rivals.
Skoda has started production of the next Kushaq at its local manufacturing facility in Chakan near Pune, Maharashtra. This will launch the second round of the Czech automaker as well as its German cousin Volkswagen in the Indian market under the India 2.0 program.
This program evolved around the philosophy of locally developed and manufactured models which gave birth to the modular architecture MQB A0 IN specific to India. The platform will underpin future Skoda and Volkswagen models in India, including Kushaq whose first unit has just rolled off its assembly line in Chakan.
The C-segment compact SUV made its first appearance as a pre-production concept called Vision IN at last year’s Auto Expo. Since then, the crossover has been spotted numerous times conducting pre-launch testing.
The company previously confirmed that the official launch is expected to take place by the end of June 2021 and that deliveries to customers are expected to begin by July. This means that Kushaq’s units will soon be ready to ship to Skoda dealers across the country.
Locally developed platform
Coming back to the platform, the MQB A0 IN architecture is a localized version of the MQB A0 that underpins several of the brand’s models in Europe. The company claims to have achieved localization levels of up to 95%, which prompted Skoda to start a new assembly line at its factory in Chakan.
The platform was almost fully developed in the new technology center in Pune opened in January 2019 and jointly owned by Volkswagen and Skoda. This architecture will appear in various upcoming models such as the successor to Volkswagen Taigun, Virtus and Skoda Rapid.
Engine, transmission options
Details of Kushaq have already been revealed. Skoda will offer two engine options with the compact crossover. A 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI turbo gasoline engine and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder TSI turbo gasoline grinder. The former is capable of developing 114 hp and 175 Nm of maximum torque, while the latter develops 148 hp and 250 Nm of torque.
A six-speed manual gearbox will be offered as standard across the range, while a 6-speed torque converter and 7-speed DSG will be offered with the 1.0-liter and 1.5-liter units respectively.
Some of the features that will be offered at Kushaq include a dual-spoke steering wheel, power sunroof, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, a touchscreen infotainment system, and more. offered by the latest myŠKODA Connect. There will be a host of accessories to spruce up the vehicle according to the owner’s preferences. Kushaq will be offered in three versions – Active, Ambition, Style and, due to the high levels of localization, expect it to have a starting price of less than Rs 10 lakh.