The brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ is the first production car as part of the INDIA 2.0 project. Under the lead responsibility of ŠKODA AUTO, Volkswagen Group is investing one billion euros in its model campaign on the Indian subcontinent to strengthen the presence of ŠKODA and Volkswagen there for the long term. The ŠKODA KUSHAQ is based on the MQB-A0-IN, a variant of the modular MQB platform specially adapted by ŠKODA for the Indian market, and unites traditional ŠKODA qualities with the requirements of Indian customers. Available with a choice of powerful yet efficient TSI engines and boasting a striking design, modern infotainment systems, high levels of comfort and a plethora of safety features, this brand-new SUV is ideally equipped for a successful start to the group’s model campaign. Orders will be taken from June 2021 with the first KUSHAQs to be delivered in July 2021. As part of INDIA 2.0, a total of four new MQB-A0-IN-based ŠKODA and Volkswagen vehicles will be launched – an SUV and a notchback for each brand, all four in the A0 segment. In order to achieve the best possible level of localisation in India, ŠKODA has set up a new MQB production line at its Pune plant. Most of the development is taking place at the new technology centre, also in Pune, which the Czech carmaker opened in January 2019.
Thomas Schäfer, ŠKODA AUTO CEO, said: “Today is a very special day for ŠKODA and Volkswagen. With the world premiere of the ŠKODA KUSHAQ, we are launching our model campaign on the Indian market and are fulfilling the mandate Volkswagen Group tasked us with roughly two and a half years ago when we were asked to assume responsibility for the Indian market. I would like to thank Gurpratap Boparai and his team for what they have achieved so far. We are now focusing on a smooth market launch and the successful start of our new model, while setting the course for the next steps on the Indian subcontinent. I am convinced of the country’s great growth potential. And we will make the most of it for ŠKODA and Volkswagen.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited, stated: “The unveiling of the KUSHAQ marks the beginning of a new era for ŠKODA AUTO and the Volkswagen Group in India. The latest addition to the ŠKODA SUV family puts forth a compelling combination of emotive design, unrivalled performance, superior build quality, exemplary value proposition, outstanding safety, and numerous Simply Clever solutions. The first product designed and developed under the INDIA 2.0 project and based on the MQB A0 IN platform, the ŠKODA KUSHAQ is inspired by the diversity of our vibrant nation yet resonates with the sensibilities of a global audience. With the ŠKODA KUSHAQ, we are poised to tap the burgeoning demand for mid-size SUVs – a segment set to grow multifold over the next few years in India.”
Local development and local production
ŠKODA AUTO has been responsible for pressing ahead with the INDIA 2.0 project on behalf of Volkswagen Group since June 2018 and has also been orchestrating the activities of the Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini brands in India. Investments in the project total one billion euros, including 275 million euros in research and development of new SUVs and notchback cars. The focus of the project is an all-embracing ŠKODA and Volkswagen model campaign with vehicles tailored to the Indian market’s high-volume segments. Initially, the campaign will see the launch of two SUV models and two notchbacks in the A0 segment. They will all be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, which has been designed to meet the latest, stricter safety and emission requirements for India. In a second phase, the models manufactured in India will then also be exported to other countries. To achieve the desired localisation level of 95 per cent concerning development and manufacturing in India, ŠKODA has set up a new MQB production line at its Pune plant. Most of the development is carried out at the new technology centre, which is also based in Pune and opened in January 2019. There, with the local staff’s wealth of expertise and flair for Indian preferences, ŠKODA can respond to changing customer needs in a more targeted, more flexible and much more dynamic manner. A total of 250 engineers will be working in the technology centre in Pune; more than 200 specialists have already been hired. ŠKODA and Volkswagen intend to strengthen their presence on the Indian market for the long term and aim to achieve a combined market share of five per cent by 2025. In 2019, deliveries in India – where the population is more than 1.3 billion – amounted to around three million vehicles.
The name of the mid-size SUV is derived from Sanskrit, an Indian language that is thousands of years old. In the ‘language of the gods’, still used today, the word ‘kushak’ denotes a king or an emperor. This complements the powerful appearance of the new ŠKODA KUSHAQ to perfection. The spelling with the letter ‘K’ at the beginning and the letter ‘Q’ at the end is in keeping with the distinctive nomenclature for the internationally successful ŠKODA KODIAQ, KAROQ and KAMIQ SUV models.
Exterior: powerful appearance with an Indian touch
Powerful, muscular and with a special Indian flair: the exterior of the brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ is perfectly tailored to the taste of local car buyers. The new SUV has plenty of ground clearance, features large wheels and showcases an innovative design – providing it with a harmonious overall appearance. The KUSHAQ also scores points for its spacious interior as is typical for a ŠKODA. Depending on the trim level, the headlights with crystalline structures feature LED technology, which comes as standard for the tail and brake lights. The metallic Honey Orange and Tornado Red paintwork, exclusively offered by ŠKODA on the Indian market, are particularly eye-catching.
The launch of the ŠKODA KUSHAQ sees the brand enter India’s rapidly growing mid-size SUV segment. Lining up alongside the larger KODIAQ and KAROQ models, the KUSHAQ – developed exclusively for India – is the third ŠKODA SUV in that market. The two colours, metallic Honey Orange and Tornado Red, provide the KUSHAQ with a special Indian touch. ŠKODA offers these exclusively in India. In addition, the brand-new SUV is also available in Candy White, metallic Reflex Silver and metallic Carbon Steel.
Ideal dimensions make it an excellent vehicle for India’s megacities
The KUSHAQ is based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, which has been specially adapted by ŠKODA for India, and its innovative design and ideal dimensions make it an excellent companion in India’s metropolises. The SUV is 4,221 mm long, 1,760 mm wide and has a height of 1,612 mm. Its long wheelbase of 2,651 mm – which is among the longest in the segment – and a ground clearance of 188 mm make it appear much larger than it actually is. The ŠKODA KUSHAQ offers plenty of space for five occupants and, with a capacity of 385 l, has a generous boot. The entry-level trim line, Active, features 16-inch steel wheels and Lhotse full wheel covers. In the Ambition trim level, the KUSHAQ comes with Grus 16-inch alloy wheels, while 17-inch Atlas two-tone alloys provide a visual highlight as standard for the Style variant.
LED headlights and tail lights
The clear-cut headlights of the ŠKODA KUSHAQ feature a two-part design. From the Ambition trim level upwards, this design consists of an LED module behind a clear lens in the upper part for low beam and high beam, and a thin, L-shaped LED module for the daytime running lights. The indicators come with classic bulbs, as do the fog lights in the lower section. This is where the daytime running lights are located on the entry-level Active variant, which is equipped with halogen lights. Together with the reflectors in the bumper, the rear lights featuring the ŠKODA-typical crystalline structures create a fresh look in the familiar C-shape. Tail and brake lights are fitted with efficient and instantaneously responsive LEDs; the tail lights offered with the Style trim level each feature classic light bulbs and an additional LED module.
Striking design and muscular appearance
ŠKODA has retained a wealth of the striking VISION IN concept car’s aspects in the production model virtually without making any changes. Featuring a distinctive front and prominent bonnet, the KUSHAQ’s ŠKODA SUV family resemblance is clear at first glance. The ribs of the wide grille are gloss black and the chrome grille surround extends to the headlights. The upper section of the muscular front bumper is body-coloured, the lower part is black. From the Ambition trim level upwards, the underbody protection comes in a silver finish, as do the roof rails, which are black in the Active trim. A straight roof line as well as a tornado line at the height of the door handles make the vehicle appear longer than it actually is. At the same time, the powerful wheel arches set off with black plastic trim and black side skirts bring out the KUSHAQ’s athletic look and lend it a self-assured stance on the road. The Style variant also features chrome-plated window frames and door handles. The clearly structured rear is characterised by the elongated roof spoiler, the ŠKODA lettering in block letters on the tailgate and the bumper with a robust rear diffuser, which is set off in silver from the Ambition trim line upwards.
Interior: spacious, elegant and with modern technologies
The ŠKODA KUSHAQ’s interior unites ergonomics with a harmonious and emotive design. A free-standing infotainment display measuring up to 10 inches is the central element of the new interior concept that can be found in other current models from the Czech car manufacturer. As is typical of ŠKODA, the KUSHAQ boasts a spacious interior as well as a plethora of Simply Clever features and plenty of storage options. The top-of-the-range trim level, Style, comes with an impressive list of modern technologies and comfort features, such as the Climatronic with a touch control panel and ventilated leather front seats.
Even the entry-level variant of the ŠKODA KUSHAQ features particularly powerful air conditioning, and from Ambition upwards, the SUV boasts Climatronic with a touch control panel. Even more ultra-modern features are offered in the range-topping trim, Style, which comes with ventilated leather front seats, KESSY keyless entry, an electric sliding glass roof and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Modern steering wheels and up to 26.2 l of interior storage space in total
The interior of the KUSHAQ is dominated by a central, free-standing infotainment touchscreen; the character line running below this makes reference to the silhouette of the ŠKODA grille. A unique storage option has been specially designed to meet the needs of Indian customers: a utility recess on the dashboard. This is where the driver can keep a firmly attached lucky charm in clear view. A two-spoke multifunction steering wheel in the latest ŠKODA styling comes as standard. From Ambition upwards, this is upholstered in leather, and vehicles with automatic transmission or DSG also feature shift paddles. All variants of the brand-new SUV offer numerous storage compartments in the interior with a total capacity of up to 26.2 l. These include, for example, the 6.1-litre glove compartment, which is air-conditioned from the Ambition trim upwards, and the 2.2-litre Jumbo Box in the centre console. In the front and rear door panels, there is plenty of room for storing bottles and other items. A cup holder can be found in the armrest of the rear seat, which folds down in a ratio of 60:40 from Ambition upwards. The Ambition trim also offers a compartment in the roof lining in the front for keeping sunglasses, so they are always within easy reach.
Simply Clever features to make everyday life easier
The KUSHAQ also features the brand’s typical Simply Clever solutions, i.e. the small details that make everyday driving that little bit easier for customers. One example is the non-slip base in the cup holder in the centre console, allowing the driver to easily and conveniently open a bottle placed there with just one hand. Of course, the brand-new KUSHAQ is also equipped with Simply Clever classics, such as the ticket holder on the A-pillar and the bag hooks in the boot. The Style variant also includes the Phone Box in the front, in which a smartphone can be charged inductively, and smartphone storage pockets on the front seatbacks.
Pleasant illumination and elegant ambience
Even in the entry-level variant, the ŠKODA KUSHAQ offers white ambient lighting and LED reading lights in the front and rear. From the Ambition trim level upwards, the ambient lighting also illuminates the dashboard and door handles, while the door handles are chrome-plated and the gearstick knob is upholstered in leather. The Style trim is particularly elegant. It offers an extended chrome package with decorative chrome trim on the instrument panel as well as the gearstick surround; the handbrake locking button also sports a chrome look. The side bolsters of the ventilated front seats, which come as standard, are finished in a leather look, as are the covers of the centre armrest and the armrests in the doors.
Connectivity: choice of two infotainment systems with SmartLink
The brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ comes with a choice of two modern infotainment systems, each of which enables smartphone integration via SmartLink technology. The Ambition and Style trim levels offer access to an impressive list of ŠKODA Connect mobile online services and an online app store, from where a navigation function can be downloaded for the range topping infotainment system. The Style trim includes a ŠKODA sound system as standard with a subwoofer placed in the spare-wheel well.
Modern infotainment systems that enable smartphone integration and access to mobile online services via SmartLink technology are part of the standard equipment in the brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ. In the Active trim level, the system features a 7-inch colour touchscreen as well as a built-in microphone in the front which, in conjunction with Bluetooth functionality, enables hands-free phone calls when on the road. A USB-A port can be used to charge electronic devices or transfer data. A smartphone is connected by cable, which also provides access to ŠKODA Connect and the online app store. The system is compatible to play MP3 and WMA music files.
Top-of-the-range infotainment system with a 10-inch screen
The Ambition and Style trim levels include the range-topping infotainment system with a 10-inch colour touchscreen that has the same functionalities as is common for smartphones. This system also features a dual tuner, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an external microphone for hands-free phone calls. On top of this, the system supports the Bluetooth standard 4.0. Smartphones can be paired and the online app store accessed without the need for a cable using Wireless SmartLink technology. Downloads from the online app store allow for the range of functions to be expanded, for example, by a navigation function. The GPS receiver required has been pre-installed accordingly for this purpose. There are two USB-C ports in the centre console for connecting and charging mobile devices via cable; the Style variant can also be equipped with a Phone Box in the front which allows smartphones to be charged inductively. In addition to MP3 and WMA, this system can also play AAC and FLAC media files.
ŠKODA sound system with additional subwoofer
The ŠKODA KUSHAQ comes with six high-performance speakers as standard – two separate tweeters and bass speakers in the front and two two-way speakers in the rear – providing a wide frequency range and guaranteeing excellent sound. The ŠKODA sound system is part of the standard equipment in the Style variant. In addition to higher-performance speakers, it also offers a separate amplifier and a subwoofer that is located in the spare-wheel well.
ŠKODA Connect online services
The ŠKODA Connect mobile online services can be accessed at any time via the MyŠKODA app or the web portal. ŠKODA Connect displays a clearly laid out Vehicle Health Report on the smartphone. The system automatically stores important data every time the ignition is switched off. Remote vehicle access is also available, which allows owners to retrieve vehicle information and driving data, including the car’s parking location for instance.
Safety: up to six airbags and a wealth of assistance systems
The brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ boasts excellent active and passive safety features and has the option to be fitted with numerous convenient extras, such as Hill-Hold Control and a tyre pressure monitor. Occupants are protected by up to six airbags, while ISOFIX and top tether anchor points come as standard to ensure the greatest possible safety for the vehicle’s youngest passengers.
With its comprehensive range of active and passive safety features and numerous convenient assistance systems, the ŠKODA KUSHAQ provides excellent levels of protection for the driver and passengers. High levels of driving safety are ensured at all times by the ESC system, which is a standard feature in all variants. The Multi-Collision Brake prevents potential follow-on collisions in the event of an accident. Should an accident occur, the vehicle’s occupants are protected by up to six airbags: in addition to airbags for the driver and front passenger, the KUSHAQ can be fitted with optional front side airbags and curtain airbags. All headrests are height-adjustable, and the centre seat in the rear is also equipped with a three-point seat belt. ISOFIX and top-tether anchor points on the rear seats to fit child seats come as standard.
Assistance systems for the driver
There are numerous assistance systems, some of which are optional, to support drivers of the ŠKODA KUSHAQ and to make journeys even more comfortable. These include, for example, Hill Hold Control and cruise control as well as light and rain sensors which automatically switch on the low beam or windscreen wipers when required. Rear parking sensors are fitted as standard; the higher trim levels also come with a rear-view camera and sensors at the front. A tyre pressure monitor to keep an eye on the air pressure is an optional extra.
Powertrains: powerful and efficient 1.0 or 1.5 TSI engines
ŠKODA is making use of two efficient and powerful petrol engines for the KUSHAQ. The advanced TSI engines have a power output ranging between 85 kW (115 PS) and 110 kW (150 PS). The engines meet India’s stringent BS6 emission standards and put their power to the road via a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 6 speed automatic transmission or 7-speed DSG.
The MQB variant specially adapted for India, the MQB-A0-IN platform, makes it possible to equip the brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ with advanced and efficient TSI engines. Thanks to their low fuel consumption, the direct-injection petrol engines enable long ranges. The entry-level 1.0 TSI produces 85 kW (115 PS) from its displacement of one litre. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Top-of-the-range engine with 7-speed DSG offers comfort and dynamism
The 1.5 TSI has – as its denomination suggests – a displacement of 1.5 litres. Its power output of 110 kW (150 PS) is delivered to the front wheels via a manual 6-speed gearbox, same as with the 1.0 TSI. This engine can be configured with a 7-speed DSG with gear ratios that offer a perfect blend of sportiness and comfort.