This is our first proper look at the new Skoda Kamiq, which will become the brand’s smallest SUV when it arrives at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March.
The new car is, in effect, the production version of the Vision X concept that Skoda revealed at the Swiss event last year. It’s designed to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, but Skoda has based the Kamiq on a larger version of the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform than the SEAT Arona and is hoping to trump rivals on interior space and practicality.
The images released by the Czech brand show that the Kamiq will stick pretty close to the concept’s looks. The ultra-slim daytime running lights and sharply-angled headlights remain, as does the oversized front grille. Also similar is the side profile, although the sketches don’t show any door handles, so it’s still unclear if the car will use a hidden rear handle to give the illusion of being a three-door.
Skoda hasn’t issued details on the cabin yet, but we expect the newcomer to feature touchscreen infotainment on all versions and the option of a digital instrument panel.
The Kamiq’s engine line-up will include 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrols, and a 1.6-litre diesel. There will be a mix of five and six-speed manual gearboxes, along with dual-clutch automatics. And the Skoda will follow its stablemate, the Volkswagen T-Cross, in only offering two-wheel-drive versions.
The choice of name is an unusual one by Skoda. Kamiq fits the company’s SUV naming strategy by starting with a K and ending in a Q. But the badge is already in use, on an SUV that’s sold exclusively in the Chinese market.
Auto Express understands that Kamiq may have defeated other names on the shortlist – believed to include Amiq and Anuq – because Skoda intends, in the long run, to converge the two Kamiqs, replacing the China car by building the forthcoming vehicle in a factory there.
The Kamiq isn’t expected to go on sale until late autumn. There’s no word yet on pricing, but we’d expect it to sit somewhere between its sister car, the Scala hatch, and the larger Karoq SUV. That would give the Kamiq a starting figure of around £17,500 – about the same as the Arona, but slightly north of the ageing Juke.
What about the Chinese Skoda Kamiq?
The Skoda Kamiq name is also applied to a different car sold in China. The Chinese Skoda Kamiq was revealed at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show. In terms of size the car holds a similar position in the Skoda range as its European namesake, sitting below the Karoq and the larger Kodiaq, but it’s designed to be significantly cheaper to produce.
Instead of the usual VW Group MQB architecture, the Chinese Kamiq is based on the VW Group’s PQ25 platform, which also underpins the Rapid. Under the bonnet, the Kamiq makes use of an all-new 1.5-litre petrol engine developing 109bhp and 150Nm of torque.
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