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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Volkswagen’s locally considered small SUV teased by new Skoda

Released in India, the teaser image, and subsequent report, claims a March 2025 launch, a year before the speculated SUV will.

Rumours of Volkswagen’s speculated third model – confirmed as a small SUV positioned below the T-Cross – earmarked for local production in 2026, has taken another step towards completion by means of a new teaser image released in India.

First Brazil…

Earlier this month, it was reported that the unnamed model, which will ride on a renamed version of the current MQB A0 platform called MQB A0 Entry, will become a reality in Brazil by 2026 positioned below the Nivus sold in South Africa as the mechanically related, but produced in Spain, Taigo.

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Set to replace the Gol that ceased production in Brazil last year after what had been 43 years, the report indicated that the SUV could spawn a half-ton bakkie replacement for the now 15-year old Saveiro that received its third lifecycle refresh in August last year.

Incoming Volkswagen small SUV teased by Skoda in India
Facelift T-Cross will cease to exist in Europe in 2025 before being fully replaced by the all-electric ID.2all SUV in 2026. Image: Volkswagen

Part of an investment, worth just under R35-billion into its Brazilian operations, which will eventually lead to 16 new or updated models by 2028, the SUV is expected to eventually replace the T-Cross, whose production run will end in 2025 in Europe in preparation for the unveiling for the all-electric ID.2all SUV the following year.

…now Skoda

While the claims from Brazil, and indeed hints from Volkswagen South Africa have been subtle, Wolfsburg’s Czech division, Skoda, has provided the biggest preview by confirming it too will launch a small SUV in March 2025.

According to Autocar India, the model will ride on a variation of the MQB A0-IN platform, an architecture developed specifically for India used by the domestic market Polo as well as the Virtus that goes under the Polo Sedan name in South Africa.

Incoming Volkswagen small SUV teased by Skoda in India
Taigun debuted in India four years ago as a market specific version of the T-Cross. Image: Volkswagen India

A platform that also underpins a Taigun – an Indian-market specific version of the T-Cross – the teaser only shows a partial section of the front, complete with Skoda’s own styling language, which will eventually be swapped out for Wolfsburg’s unique take come 2026.

In addition, Autocar reports the newcomer’s name will be selected from a poll of five monikers listed on Skoda India’s website; Kariq, Kwiq, Kylag, Kymag and Kyrog.

It further states that the model’s overall length and wheelbase will be significantly shorter from that of the Taigun, and that power, in conformation of comments made by Volkswagen’s South Africa Managing Director, Martina Biene, will come from an internal combustion engine likely to include the 1.0 TSI and possibly even the bigger 1.5 TSI Evo.

Incoming Volkswagen small SUV teased by Skoda in India
Based on the T-Cross, the Kushaq has, since 2021, been Skoda’s smallest SUV in India. Image: Skoda India

The Indian version is also set to offer a six-speed manual gearbox and, most likely to keep costs down, a six-speed Tiptronic in place of the more expensive seven-speed DSG.

Asked about the newcomer’s likely pricing, Skoda CEO, Klaus Zellmer, who replaced now Volkswagen Passenger Brand CEO Thomas Schäfer two years ago, only remarked that, “if we want to have scale we need to be very price competitive in India”.

More details likely soon

Seemingly set for unveiling in Brazil and South Africa in the same year, with local market production at the Kariega Plant in the Eastern Cape alongside the Polo and Polo Vivo still to be finalised, expect more details to emerge as the year progresses.

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