Škoda has introduced the second generation of its seven-seater SUV Kodiaq, a mild-hybrid version, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, offering 100 kilometres (62 miles) of electric range as well as fresh new interiors with increased space.
The Czech auto manufacturer has confirmed the details of its largest SUV, which will be revealed fully in the autumn before going on sale in early 2024, and it would seem that the company is prioritising the electrification of its flagships.
In April, we reported that Škoda was aiming to prepare the “most diverse portfolio” in its history, with refreshed hybrid versions of its flagship Superb and Kodiaq coming soon. The latter of those two is finally here in two variations of the electric powertrain, although draped in black and yellow camouflage.
Named Kodaq iV, in line with the rest of the company’s electrified range, it is the first plug-in hybrid in this model series. It’s reported to have a range of more than 62 miles (100 kilometres) on electric-only power and offers a total power output of 204 hp (150 kW), the same as the petrol and diesel variants.
It’s fitted with a 25.7kWh high-voltage battery, however, the maximum DC charging speed allowed is 50kW, while AC recharging at 11 kW from wall boxes and charging points is supported.
Meanwhile, Škoda is also introducing an entry-level 1.5 TSI petrol engine with 150 hp (110 kW), which comes with the latest-generation active cylinder technology (ACT+) and also marks the debut of mild-hybrid technology in the Kodiaq.
Both hybrid engines are part of the latest generation of EA 211 evo2 engines. They run on the fuel-efficient Miller cycle and feature a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry.
Another interesting decision made by the manufacturer is to go with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission for the mild-hybrid version, but a six-speed DSG for the plug-in hybrid.
And if you’re interested to know about the interiors, they have been completely overhauled. Skoda has moved the model’s shifter onto the steering column for the first time and installed a new, larger 12.9in touchscreen.
It’s also added what it calls new ‘Simply Clever’ features, such as a rear storage compartment with a cup holder and a dual Phone Box that provides cooling, simultaneous charging for two mobile phones, and a touchscreen display cleaner, while Skoda’s familiar umbrella is stowed in the driver’s door.
Johannes Neft, Škoda Auto Board Member for Technical Development, said: “Improving a vehicle as popular as the Kodiaq is always a challenge. Nevertheless, we further sharpened the look while keeping the distinctive elements of our SUV design language.
“In addition, the new Kodiaq offers even more interior space and will take safety, technology and versatility to the next level. With the plug-in hybrid version, we are also adding a new powertrain offering more than 100 kilometres of electric range to the portfolio.”
Škoda had previously said that it believes internal combustion engine models and plug-in hybrids will continue to be a “mainstay” of its portfolio over the course of the transition phase to e-mobility. However, it is also set to introduce four new “pure” EVs, expanding the model range to six by 2026.
Each of its four new EVs will be aimed at a different segment — entry-level “Small”, crossover “Compact”, a spacious “Estate”, and a seven-seater “Space” or SUV, probably something like the Kodiaq.
With the Škoda Enyaq iV doing well for the brand, its SUV line-up is well and truly poised to offer something for all types of owners.
The SUV also got a sweet, luxurious update with increased battery and range with the Laurin & Klement versions. Named after its founders, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, it’s available as both rear-wheel and all-wheel drives, and also in the shape of an SUV or as a coupé, along with special interior and exterior design features.