A first preview of the first-ever seven-seat Skoda SUV has been handed down today, ahead of a debut set for March’s Geneva motor show.
Skoda has long been expected to add an extra-large high-riding wagon to its range, with reports of a so-called ‘Snowman’ and, more recently, ‘Kodiak’ SUV model reaching back to early 2014.
Skoda executives have confirmed with CarAdvice on a number of occasions that the new model will hit the European market in early 2017, with an Australian debut to occur only “a couple of months” later.
Today’s teaser pack of three stylised sketches offers the first look at that new model, which will debut in Geneva as the VisionS concept. (“The ‘S’ stands for SUV”, Skoda kindly notes in its press release.)
As with the Octavia-previewing VisionD concept of 2011 and the Superb-inspiring VisionC concept in 2014, we can likely expect the VisionS concept to offer a clear - if exaggerated - preview of the final production SUV’s styling.
Importantly, the VisionS will also offer a first look at an evolved take on Skoda’s latest styling language, which introduced a chiseled new look with the compact Rapid, the latest Octavia and the big new-generation Superb.
As these sketches reveal, that will include an even sharper and more muscular look through the profile, matched to a simplified but bolder and more three-dimensional grille design.
Long slender and deep-set headlights will flank that new grille, while sharp arrow-point tail lamps will feature at the rear. Large sports wheels will fill out the familiar squared-off arches and a pair of elliptical exhaust tips will round out the look.
Skoda has revealed little else about the VisionS at this early stage, although it has confirmed a 4.70 metre length and a width of 1.91 metres, making it nearly identical in size to the current Volkswagen Touareg, which launched in 2011.
Unlike the ageing and soon-to-be-replaced Touareg, Skoda’s new SUV is expected to be built on Volkswagen’s versatile new MQB platform, which underpins models from the small Golf and mid-sized Octavia to the large Passat and Superb, among others.
Powertrains are likewise expected to be shared with the larger of those models, including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options.