Customer deliveries of the new Karoq compact crossover won’t begin until the end of the month, but Skoda is already eager to talk about future derivatives to spice up the lineup. The Yeti’s replacement will get a Sportline variant as early as 2018 to bring a slightly more aggressive appearance without any hardware upgrades. For the whole shebang, we will have to wait until at least 2019 when a high-performance version could be launched.
The RS model hasn’t been approved just yet, but Skoda’s R&D boss, Christian Strube, has admitted in an interview with Auto Express that he really wants to make it happen. He was also a driving force behind the decision to green-light a Kodiaq RS, which could debut sometime in 2018. Its smaller brother might just become one of the first Skodas to benefit from an electrified powertrain, along with the plug-in hybrid Superb and Kodiaq coming in 2019.
While the Karoq’s Spanish cousin, the SEAT Ateca, will get an “old-fashioned” turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine with around 300 horses for the range-topping Cupra, the Karoq RS will likely feature a different setup. The combustion engine will be down on power compared to the equivalent SEAT, but it will make up for that by adding an electric motor.
According to the same report, Skoda is already evaluating prototypes of an electrified Karoq RS and Christian Strube even hinted at what’s going on:
“They [engineers] are often building cars that I can drive. If you want to convince somebody, you must always do it with hardware.”
The RS portfolio could grow beyond the forthcoming Kodiaq RS and the potential Karoq RS as the company has admitted it is toying around with doing a Superb RS. It won’t be doing a hotted-up version of the Citigo, nor will the Fabia RS return. Why? Lack of demand, though some would say there'd be enough demand for a hot supermini and maybe its wagon equivalent.
Render: X-Tomi Design
Source: Auto Express