Skoda Auto India has announced the start of production of the new Kushaq SUV at the Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd (SAVWIPL) plant in Chakan, Pune. Following the official launch later this month, customer deliveries are planned to begin in July.
The Skoda Kushaq is based on the MQB-A0-IN, a variant of Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB -A0 platform, which has been specially adapted by Skoda for the Indian and global markets. The vast know-how of highly qualified local engineers was leveraged to enable high localisation. Skoda Auto India says there is strong involvement of the existing supplier base and local manufacturing in the development of the Kushaq. The objective was to match traditional Skoda qualities with the requirements of Indian customers.
Commenting on the production start, Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India said, “The production rollout of the first car under the India 2.0 project marks a historic milestone for Skoda 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 the 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.”
Zac Hollis, Brand Director – Skoda Auto India, said: “With the start of production of the all- new Kushaq, we are looking at a new chapter to mark the success story of Skoda Auto in India. India’s preference for SUVs has continued to grow steadily over the years. The Kushaq will offer an unparalleled driving experience and brings together all the attributes that matter to an SUV buyer. The team is gearing up for the launch later this month. We have already increased our network reach substantially and have instituted several best practices towards ensuring customer delight.”
Only petrol power
The Kushaq will come powered by two turbocharged petrol engine options – the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI motor that will develop 115bhp and 175Nm, and the bigger 1.5-litre, four-cylinder unit which will be more performance oriented. It will offer 150bhp of power and 250Nm of peak torque and will compensate for the lack of a diesel motor in Skoda's latest offering in India.
While both engines will come mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, the 1.0 TSI will get a 6-speed torque-converter automatic and the 1.5 TSI will get a 6-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, as options.
Other Kushaq highlights are LED headlamps, ventilated front seats, electric sunroof and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system paired with a six-speaker setup along with a subwoofer. In terms of safety, the Kushaq will offer six airbags, ESC, TPMS, and an optional hill-hold assist function.
In India, the Kushaq will go up against the popular Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks, MG Hector and Tata Harrier. Also joining the list of rivals will be its sister car, the Volkswagen Taigun, which is expected to arrive in the coming months. Expect prices for the Kushaq to be in the Rs 10-16 lakh (ex-showroom) range.