Skoda is finally ready to have a say in the hugely challenging compact crossover segment with the all-new Karoq. The Czech automaker is playing it safe this time around by going mainstream with a conventional exterior design representing a major departure from its predecessor, the rather oddball Yeti. On its way to dealerships across Europe, the Karoq downsizes the Kodiaq’s formula and that should prove to be a winning recipe considering the larger seven-seat SUV is already a big hit for the Volkswagen-owned marque.
Additional derivatives are already in the pipeline as Skoda has confirmed an all-show-but-no-extra-go Sportline will be out in 2018 and we have a feeling it will look very similar to the render attached below. It would make perfect sense for the Karoq to also receive the rugged Scout treatment, much like its bigger brother and the Octavia wagon. Again, the speculative design exercise seen here should paint an accurate picture of what to expect from the real deal.
But wait, there’s more. Skoda through the voice of its R&D boss, Christian Strube, has said he is keen on the idea of doing a Karoq RS. If it will get the green light, it’s going to follow the already approved Kodiaq RS. While the larger SUV is slated to go down the diesel route with a 2.0-liter BiTDI, the go-faster Karoq might combine a punchy gasoline engine with an electric motor for a strong hybrid powertrain.
If that’s going to happen, it means the Karoq RS will be significantly different than its cousin from Spain as the SEAT Ateca Cupra will have a conventional turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline mill dialed to around 300 hp. The combustion engine inside the Karoq RS will have less power, but overall the combined output should be similar thanks to the electric boost. Skoda’s official has made it clear prototypes are already being evaluated, so there is a good chance it will happen.
Meanwhile, the Skoda Karoq Sportline will likely debut in March 2018 at the Geneva Motor Show where it could share the spotlight with the Scout. If not, the later will premiere early October in Paris.