Meet the Snowman. A €280,000 snow groomer with 400-hp hybrid power.

Skoda has been doing great over the past few years and now it seems VW’s no-frills Czech marque is ready to make a step forward by diversifying its offerings. The Snowman is a 9.13-meter long snow groomer equipped with a snow plough and a snow blower. The styling is derived from the Vision S concept and it’s actually Skoda’s first plug-in hybrid production model.

With a combined output of 400 horsepower and 650 newton meters of torque, the Snowman has enough punch to climb gradients of up to 100% and it can also turn on its own axis. The two caterpillar tracks can reach speeds of up to 20 kph while the fuel consumption stands at a respectable 14 liters / hour.

Skoda’s “Simply Clever” philosophy has been implemented in the new Snowman, specifically in the cabin where there’s a magnetic snow shovel holder and a heated cup holder. Other goodies include an air-suspended heated driver’s seat, a climate-controlled storage box, and a smart ashtray featuring an automatic fire extinguishing system using snow.

Skoda has plans to put the Snowman on sale in December in Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and other major European countries. It’s going to be the most expensive Skoda ever, carrying a rather exorbitant starting price of €280,000.

As a nod to the Superb’s umbrellas, another new Skoda-branded product is a dog umbrella available for the flagship model either as standard or optional equipment, depending on trim level. The umbrella is made from a material called “unobtainium” and was developed by Professor Al Sayshon. The umbrella attaches to the dog’s leash and during the testing phase it “captured large quantities of British rain” before heading to Czech Republic to get the stamp of approval.

Gallery: Skoda branches out with hybrid snow groomer, dog umbrella