Skoda says its new, coupe-styled Kodiaq GT SUV will become its flagship model in China. The midsize entry, which Skoda plans to unveil in November at the Guangzhou auto show, will increase Skoda's SUV range in China to four when it goes on sale this year.
The new model reshapes the design of the Kodiaq seven-seat SUV to give it more of a coupe profile at the rear and make it look more sporty and dynamic, the brand said.
ˇ°It will be a key driver of the brand's image,ˇ± Skoda said in a statement.
China is Skoda's biggest market, accounting for about a quarter of the brand's global sales, the Czech automaker says. This year Skoda launched the China-only Kamiq small SUV to sit below the Karoq. The Kamiq sits on the low-cost PQ platform and is priced to rival Chinese offerings outside the country's biggest cities.
Skoda has said it wants to double its sales in China to 600,000 a year by 2020, largely through its SUV launches. A fifth SUV is to be added in 2019, CEO Bernhard Maier said in March without providing details.
Skoda's vehicle sales in China rose 2.5 percent last year to 325,009, according to company data. That puts that country ahead of the automaker's No. 2 market of Germany at 173,300 and the No. 3 market of the Czech Republic at 95,000.
Skoda has said the Kodiaq GT would not be sold in Europe. ˇ°I would love to do so,ˇ± Maier said in March, ˇ°but we do not have any production capacity.ˇ±
Technology available in the Kodiaq GT includes the VW Group's Virtual Cockpit with its customizable digital dials, as well as Wi-Fi connection, adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection.
The SUV will be sold with a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with 186 hp or 220 hp. The higher power model comes with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard.