The next-generation Skoda Kodiaq’s exterior styling may be evolutionary, but its interior will look significantly different.
Spy photos show the Kodiaq will, as expected, ditch its more integrated infotainment touchscreen for a larger, tablet-style 12.9-inch unit.
It will sit next to what appears to be a free-standing 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and atop a more minimalist centre stack.
We can also see the transmission shifter is now mounted on the steering column.
Peer closer in these spy photos and you’ll also see our first look at the car’s undisguised exterior, courtesy of an image on the touchscreen.
It sticks with the split-level lighting arrangement of the current car and Skoda’s trademark waterfall grille, but the sides appear to feature smoother detailing with the pronounced crease of the outgoing model replaced with a more subtle one positioned higher up.
There’s also a slight up-kick of the belt line aft of the C-pillar.
Skoda has been releasing a steady stream of teaser images of the Kodiaq ahead of its reveal sometime between September and November 2023, but these curated ‘spy’ photos have yet to depict its interior.
The company has also released information on the Kodiaq’s powertrain line-up.
Skoda will offer five powertrain options for the Kodiaq in Europe, including 48V mild-hybrid and the nameplate’s first plug-in hybrid options, alongside traditional petrol and diesel variants.
The Kodiaq is expected to launch in Australia around mid-2024.
“We don’t have a real big delay in the new car at all. It’s just a typical homologation lead time we have, so six to nine months should be sufficient – and then we have it here,” Skoda Australia managing director Michael Irmer told CarExpert.
The entry-level 1.5 TSI turbo petrol engine boasts a fuel-saving 48V mild-hybrid system and produces 110kW of power.
Both the 1.5 TSI mHEV and 1.5 TSI iV plug-in hybrid (more below) run the more efficient Miller cycle and feature a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry – both designed to maximise fuel efficiency.
Further, the mild-hybrid also comes with the Volkswagen Group’s latest active cylinder technology, which can shut down up to two cylinders under low engine load to reduce fuel consumption.
A higher-spec 2.0 TSI with 150kW will also be available with standard all-wheel drive. Both 1.5 TSI mHEV and 2.0 TSI engine variants are fitted as standard with seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
Skoda will also offer a pair of turbo-diesel options in Europe, but it’s unclear whether they are on the cards for Australia given the brand no longer sells diesels here.
Two versions of the VW Group’s 2.0 TDI four-cylinder oiler will be available, one with 110kW and FWD, and a more powerful 142kW tune with all-wheel drive. Again, a seven-speed DSG is standard fitment for both.
Finally, the plug-in hybrid powertrain – which has been ruled out for Australia – teams the base 110kW 1.5 TSI petrol engine with an electric motor and 25.7kWh battery pack, quoting a system power output of 150kW. Drive is sent exclusively to the front wheels via a six-speed DSG auto.
Skoda says the new Kodiaq iV can travel “more than 100 kilometres” per charge, and supports 50kW DC fast charging.
Skoda will offer wheels ranging from 17- to 20-inches in diameter with a choice of seven designs. Matrix LED headlights will also be available.
The Kodiaq will also include a new-generation of adaptive chassis control (DCC) – VW-speak for adaptive dampers.
The new Kodiaq is expected to move to the newer MQB Evo architecture like the latest Octavia.
The length of the large SUV has increased by 61mm, while the third row offers an additional 15mm of headroom for 920mm in total.
Its revised measurements are quoted at 4758mm long, 1864mm wide, and 1657mm tall with a 2791mm wheelbase.
An available dual-phone box allows cooling and fast charging for two phones at the same time, and a head-up display is also available.
Skoda has introduced a whole suite of safety technologies including Crew Protect Assist, which automatically closes the windows and panoramic roof as well as activates the hazard lights and tightens the front seatbelts in the event of an emergency.
As well as Emergency Assist, which provides drivers who may experience a medical episode with additional driving assistance to bring the vehicle to a complete stop and alert surrounding drivers.
Up to nine airbags will be offered depending on market and specification – including dual front, front-side, rear-side and curtain airbags in addition to a front-centre inflator.
A new remote parking feature will also be offered from 2024, allowing the vehicle to park autonomously in tight parking spaces via a smartphone app.
The Kodiaq will be manufactured alongside the existing Karoq at the company’s Kvasiny plant in the Czech Republic, with Skoda investing around 12 million euros (~A$19.5 million) in converting the production line for the new model.
In 2022, the Kodiaq was Skoda’s second most popular SUV globally. In Australia, the brand registered 1555 units, with Skoda Australia boss Michael Irmer saying a bulk of Kodiaq sales were of the flagship RS performance variant.
While Australia will miss out on the new Kodiaq iV plug-in hybrid, Skoda plans to jump headfirst into electric vehicles starting next year, with the Enyaq and Enyaq Coupe EVs due to arrive in local showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2024.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for our coverage of the all-new Kodiaq’s reveal in the coming months.
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