New 2021 Skoda Karoq spotted for first time

Skoda will introduce two updated SUVs next year: the Kodiaq spotted in prototype form earlier this week, and a refreshed Karoq seen here for the first time.

Despite the front and rear-end camouflage, it doesn’t appear that extensive styling changes in order. However, expect some visual reference to the new Octavia, particularly at the front-end with tweaked headlights and intake profiles. We could also see a re-profiled tailgate with updated LED tail lights as well.

Cabin changes are likely to be focused on technology more than a physical redesign. Expect to see the latest iteration of Skoda’s infotainment system to be drafted in, alongside features such as an updated virtual cockpit display and new material options. That should include new tech such as an embedded e-SIM for advanced connectivity functions.

Details of what engines will be used remain under wraps. There should be updates to the existing petrol and diesel models to boost efficiency, like we’ve seen on the Ateca, as well as a lower-powered 2.0-litre diesel in place of the old 1.6. What we’d expect to see, too, is some form of hybrid option: the 1.0 and 1.5 TSI engines in the Octavia feature ‘E-Tec’ mild hybrid tech, while there’s even a possibility Skoda could draft in the VW Group’s PHEV setup based around a 1.4-litre TSI engine to dramatically reduce the car’s fleet average emissions.

All of that remains to be seen, as does any detail on an unveiling. Given the Ateca launched more than a year before the original Karoq it could be some time, though conversely the new Octavia will make the Karoq appear dated inside and out, so the Czech brand may not wait that long.

Lawrence Allan

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