Chinese buyers increasingly want crossovers and they increasingly want Skodas. The Czech brand, therefore, is giving them more of both.
In this case, it’s the Chinese-market Kamiq which, despite its thoroughly contemporary styling, is underpinned by the PQ34 platform first introduced with the 1996 Audi A3, instead of the MQB architecture used by the Kamiq sold in Europe and due to be launched in Australia during the first half of 2020.
Though referred to as a coupe crossover, the Kamiq GT is more upright than most coupe crossovers. Its distinction from the regular Kamiq is more like the difference between the Haval H6 and H6 Coupe than, say, the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLC Coupe.
The transition from the Vision GT concept to the production Kamiq GT has been seamless, with virtually no visual changes of note. Skoda’s newest coupe crossover also bears a strong resemblance to the larger, China-exclusive Kodiaq GT.
Though the beltline kicks up towards the D-pillar, much as it does on the regular Chinese Kamiq, the Kamiq GT distinguishes itself through the use of a thick piece of chrome trim and the availability of a contrasting roof colour. Overall, the Kamiq GT is 19mm longer than the regular Chinese Kamiq, though it’s identical in wheelbase and width. Somewhat surprisingly, it’s also 13mm taller.
Changes have also been made to the front-end styling, with sharper lighting elements lending the car a sportier appearance. The interior is largely carried over from the regular Kamiq, but gains unique sports seats, brushed metal trim, and some decorative stitching.
Skoda’s press kit makes no mention of the Kamiq GT’s powertrain, however Complete Car reports it’ll use the Chinese Kamiq’s sole powertrain option, a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder, producing 81kW and 145Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic.
Also available will be a 1.2-litre turbocharged four with 86kW and 200Nm, and paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission. Like the Kamiq, the Kamiq GT will be available only with front-wheel drive.
The introduction of two Chinese-exclusive models underscores the importance of the world’s largest market to the Czech firm’s sales targets. Last year, China was Skoda’s second largest market, behind Western Europe, but ahead of Central Europe from which the company hails.
The Volkswagen Group is a colossus in China, its titular marque alone selling more than twice as many vehicles last year as the next most popular brand. It has two joint venture partners, FAW VW and SAIC-Volkswagen, the latter of which co-developed the Kamiq GT with Skoda.