In Brief

Skoda teases fans with images of upcoming SUV

Design sketches preview VisionS concept to be revealed at Geneva Motor Show

Skoda has revealed design sketches of a near production-ready concept version of its upcoming SUV, set to be seen in the flesh at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Called the VisionS, it showcases the tweaked design language the car-maker will employ when it begins to roll out its range of SUVs, thought to be named Kodiak.

The production vehicle the VisionS concept will transform into is touted to be a key player for the Volkswagen-owned Czech firm and at 15.5ft, it will be longer than most of its rivals, such as the Nissan X-Trail, and have a seven-seat option when it hits showrooms. "It's also 1.9m [6.2ft] wide and 1.7m [5.5ft] high. Good, chunky proportions", says Top Gear.

No powertrain details have emerged, though the production car could start with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol, with various 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels making up most of the choices. A manual or dual-clutch automatic gearbox will be available, powering either the front or all four wheels. A hybrid model is a possibility, given Skoda's access to VW group technology, but the company will be wary of stacking the price too high, says Auto Express.

Most critics are focussing on the design of the VisionS, though. Auto Express notes the slim headlights and prominent front grille influenced by other Skoda models, along with some new additions. The clamshell bonnet is likely to remain a feature of all production SUVs, says the magazine, and the roofline at the back tapers down into a distinctive crease at the back. There's a "slight whiff of BMW X5", they say.

Autocar says it will be on sale early 2017, with a price tag possibly as low as £24,000 – undercutting key rivals such as the Kia Sorento by some money. Three more SUV models will be introduced over the next few years, adds the magazine.

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