Mladá Boleslav / Pune, 25 January 2021 – By unveiling the KUSHAQ, ŠKODA AUTO heralds a new era for the Indian market. The mid-size SUV boasts ŠKODA’s typical, generous amount of space and will be available with a choice of two efficient TSI engines. It is the Czech brand’s first production model that is based on the MQB-A0-IN platform – an MQB variant specially adapted by ŠKODA AUTO for India that will also be used for other Volkswagen Group models on the Indian market. This car combines traditional ŠKODA qualities such as striking design, plenty of comfort, a high level of safety, and state-of-the-art infotainment systems with the preferences of Indian customers. The new KUSHAQ will celebrate its world premiere on the Indian subcontinent in March 2021.
Thomas Schäfer, ŠKODA AUTO CEO, said: “The launch of our new ŠKODA KUSHAQ marks the beginning of a new era for ŠKODA AUTO on the Indian subcontinent. It’s the region where we oversee all Volkswagen Group activities within the scope of the INDIA 2.0 project. The KUSHAQ marks the start of a model offensive consisting of four new mid-size ŠKODA and Volkswagen models. All of these vehicles will be based on the MQB-A0-IN variant of the modular transverse matrix, which ŠKODA AUTO has specifically adapted to meet the needs of the Indian market. I’m very confident that this model will appeal to our Indian customers.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited, added: The introduction of the all-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ is the first of several launches as part of the INDIA 2.0 project. Developed in India with the sophisticated, demanding consumer requirements in mind, the forthcoming launches of models based on the India-specific MQB A0-IN platform is something we’re very proud of. The ŠKODA KUSHAQ has been built using extensive on-ground intelligence and has been localised to offer tremendous value without any compromise in our legendary quality.”
Compact yet spacious: the ŠKODA KUSHAQ
With the launch of the KUSHAQ, ŠKODA AUTO is entering the subcontinent’s rapidly growing mid‑size SUV segment for the first time, and is now offering a third SUV in India alongside the KODIAQ and KAROQ. Based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, the ŠKODA KUSHAQ is ideally suited for use in India’s metropolises. Its long wheelbase of 2,651 mm, rugged look and large wheels make it look much larger than it actually is. Boasting versatility, as is typical for ŠKODA, plenty of space for five occupants and a large boot, the SUV’s interior is impressive too. Depending on the trim level, the ŠKODA KUSHAQ features LED headlights and LED daytime running lights as standard. The tail and brake lights are also fitted with striking and instantaneously responsive LEDs.
Choice of two powerful and efficient TSI engines
The all-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ is powered by one of two efficient TSI petrol engines: a 1.0- or 1.5‑litre TSI, both of which feature front-wheel drive. Depending on the trim level, the KUSHAQ is fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 7-speed DSG. In keeping with the benefits of TSI technology, both engines will offer impressive performance yet low fuel consumption.
Air conditioning as standard, and state-of-the-art infotainment systems
The elevated seating position typical of an SUV allows for excellent all-round visibility. The height of the driver’s seat and the position of the steering wheel can be adjusted to suit the driver’s individual preferences. The state-of-the-art infotainment systems come with a central touchscreen. To ensure a pleasant interior temperature, each car features air conditioning or automatic Climatronic, depending on the trim level.
High level of safety and assistance systems for optimum comfort
The ŠKODA KUSHAQ offers excellent active and passive safety as well as numerous assistance systems. Occupants are protected by up to six airbags – for the driver and front passenger as standard, and optional front side airbags and curtain airbags – while ESC ensures increased driving safety. Hill-Hold Control, rain and light sensors and a cruise control system further improve both safety and comfort. The car can also be fitted with a tyre pressure monitor to keep an eye on the air pressure.
The ŠKODA KUSHAQ – the first model of the INDIA 2.0 product campaign
Since June 2018, ŠKODA AUTO has been overseeing all Volkswagen Group activities on the Indian subcontinent as part of the INDIA 2.0 project. The aim is to sustainably strengthen the presence of ŠKODA AUTO and Volkswagen Group in India by significantly expanding the product range in the volume segment. Volkswagen Group is investing a total of one billion euros in the project, including 275 million euros in research and development of mid-size SUVs and hatchback cars. The Czech carmaker is also orchestrating the activities of Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini in India. Almost 30 models in total meet the requirements of various market and price segments. Since October 2019, the Czech brand has also been heading ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL), a merger of three independent companies to manage all local Volkswagen Group activities.
Developed locally for the Indian market: the MQB-A0-IN
The locally developed MQB-A0-IN provides the technical basis for the new ŠKODA KUSHAQ as well as for other volume models still to come. The platform has been designed to meet the new, stricter safety and emission requirements for India. Plans call for a localisation level of 95 per cent for the new vehicles, with technical development taking place at the Pune technology centre, which opened in January 2019. A team of 250 local engineers have played a major role in the development of the MQB-A0-IN. Their wealth of technological expertise and detailed knowledge of the local market allow for a more targeted, more flexible and much faster response to changing customer needs. In 2019, sales in India – where the population is more than 1.3 billion – amounted to around three million vehicles.
ŠKODA AUTO has a long history in India
Back in the second half of the 1930s, the car manufacturer exported up to 90 vehicles a year to India, after several globetrotters had driven to the subcontinent in their ŠKODAs. By 1938, India had become the seventh largest of ŠKODA AUTO’s then 39 export markets. The Czech car manufacturer didn’t establish its own subsidiary in India until 2001. Currently, SAVWIPL operates two plants, located in Aurangabad and Pune, and also runs the technology centre in Pune as well as the ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India with offices in Gurugram and Pune, which were opened at the beginning of 2020. At present, ŠKODA’s line-up on the Indian market includes the RAPID, OCTAVIA and flagship SUPERB, as well as the SUV models KODIAQ and KAROQ.