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Skoda to keep it simple with Kamiq

Australian spec details for Skoda Kamiq small SUV emerge ahead of mid-year launch

21 Feb 2020

SKODA Australia has secured federal government approval to import the Kamiq small SUV, with Australian Design Rule paperwork suggesting the booming Czech brand will keep the line-up simple when initial deliveries arrive mid-year.


Just one engine and transmission combination will be available across regular and sportier Monte Carlo variants of the Kamiq, which are expected to launch simultaneously or in quick succession to do battle with the Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Kona and even the looming T-Cross from sister brand Volkswagen.


It had been speculated that Australian-delivered Kamiqs would be powered by an 85kW/200Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine as confirmed for the related VW T-Cross that launches in May.


But documents viewed by GoAuto reveal that Australian Kamiq buyers will get the punchier 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine as fitted to the larger Karoq.


Australian-delivered Kamiqs will also swerve the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine options available overseas, as well as a lesser 70kW/175Nm version of the three-cylinder petrol.


Unlike the Karoq that launched with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions – before both were ditched in favour of an eight-speed torque converter auto – the Kamiq will be exclusively equipped with seven-speed dual-clutch.


Being smaller than the Karoq – priced from $29,990 plus on-road costs as a manual or $32,290 for the automatic – the Kamiq is expected to cost in the region of $26,000-$28,000 plus on-roads, a price range occupied by the entry-level Life variant of VW’s T-Cross that has a less powerful engine.


ADR documents say the Kamiq will be able to tow 1250kg braked or 630kg unbraked and that alloy wheel sizes will range from 16-inch to 18-inch with options including a panoramic sunroof.


“Sport chassis control” is also listed as reducing ground clearance by 10mm and is described by Skoda as providing a Sport mode with “firmer characteristics for the shock absorbers that are adjusted electronically”.


The Monte Carlo build is mentioned as including “special livery” as applied to the Monte Carlo variants of the Fabia light car and Rapid small car sold in Australia that references Skoda’s rallying heritage with two-tone paint finishes and interior trims.


Although reticent to confirm these Kamiq details ahead of launch, Skoda Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuinness told GoAuto the brand’s modus operandi in this market was to offer a simplified variant line-up and offer “value-add” option packages.


This was certainly the case with the Karoq when it launched Down Under as a single variant in June 2018, to which option packs priced between $1700 and $3600 could be added.


A higher-performance Sportline variant will join the Karoq range in the second quarter of this year powered by a 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.


The Karoq Sportline’s boosted performance will be accompanied by perforated leather upholstery, a sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, LED lighting, a bodykit with black trim panels and big 19-inch alloy wheels.


Skoda has also been given the green light to import the Scala small car, which according to ADR paperwork shares much of its specification with the Kamiq – including availability of a Monte Carlo version – although its unbraked towing capacity is 10kg lower and its optional sport chassis control suspension reduces ground clearance by an extra 5mm.


Again declining to confirm any specifications, Mr McGuinness said the Scala will arrive in showrooms before the Kamiq, with estimated launch timing “before the end of the first half” of this year.


Despite much of the Australian new-vehicle market being in sharp decline, Skoda sales are going from strength to strength with 7001 reported deliveries last year representing a 20.6 per cent jump with 540 sales last month (up 32.4 per cent year on year) giving the brand a strong start to 2020.


Mr McGuinness attributed Skoda’s sales success to the 33-strong dealership network and a broader range of models that contend in mainstream segments while sharing a “design language that is universal across that entire range”.


“From an Australian perspective (the reason) why they are really hitting their straps is that we’ve got a pretty solid dealer network now and the other thing it really comes down to is that the value proposition is really high.”

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