Recently, Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda Auto, has revealed that the Czech carmaker is planning to launch a sub-4-metre SUV in India in the near future.
The sub-4-metre SUV segment is the most popular segment in the Indian car market. Most of the major carmaker in India has a product in this segment, and those that don’t are rushing to add one in their line-up. Renault, Nissan, and Kia will all be launching one by the end of this year, and now, it seems like Skoda will also be joining the race.
According to recent reports, Skoda is currently developing a new subcompact SUV for the Indian market. That, however, wouldn’t be launched as a part of Volkswagen and Skoda’s current India 2.0 scheme, but as a part of the brand’s upcoming India 3.0 scheme (or phase III of VWAG’s plan for India). Codenamed ‘ANB’, Skoda hasn’t confirmed the launch date yet, but we do have a launch window; the new car is scheduled for a late 2021 launch.
There has been no word about the specifications of the upcoming Skoda ANB, but there has been a lot of speculations. We expect the car to be based on a modified version of the ‘MQB A0’ platform, which currently underpins the Fabia and Rapid. We also expect a lot of localisation, and perhaps even a slight modification to the platform, to reduce costs of course. This platform will be called ‘MQB A0 IN’, much like how ‘MQB IN’ is the localised version of the ‘MQB’ platform.
As for the engine options, we expect the same 1.0-litre, inline-3, turbocharged petrol motor as the current Rapid (and the Polo and Vento as well). This motor is capable of generating 110 PS and 175 Nm in its current state of tune, but is capable of churning up to 115 PS and 200 Nm. It will come mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. We don’t expect a dual-clutch gearbox to show up in Skoda’s affordable cars, as evident with the Rapid.
Some readers might be aware that Skoda India and VW India had merged together into a single entity in 2019, and both the companies are currently operating with Skoda at the forefront. As such, we’ve seen Skoda being more active in India than Volkswagen, with cars like Kamiq, Karoq, Kodiaq, etc. In comparison, VW is playing it safe and keeping their vehicle range small. That said, a VW-badged mechanical clone of Skoda’s ANB is expected to be launched in India as well, perhaps in early 2022.