New 2021 Skoda Karoq spotted for first time, hybrid likely

21 June 2020 - autocar

New 2021 Skoda Karoq spotted for first time, hybrid likely

Skoda will give its mid-size SUV a mid-life refresh for next year, and the first disguised prototypes are hitting the roads

Skoda will introduce two updated SUVs next year: the Kodiaq spotted in prototype form earlier this week, and a refreshed Karoq seen here for the first time.

Despite the front and rear-end camouflage, it doesn't appear that extensive styling changes in order. However, expect some visual reference to the new Octavia, particularly at the front-end with tweaked headlights and intake profiles. We could also see a reprofiled tailgate with updated LED tail lights, too, much like on the Karoq's recently unveiled sibling, the 2020 Seat Ateca.

Cabin changes are likely to be focused on technology more than a physical redesign. Expect to see the latest iteration of Skoda's infotainment system to be drafted in, alongside features such as an updated virtual cockpit display and new material options. That should include new tech such as an embedded e-SIM for advanced connectivity functions.

Details of what engines will be used remain under wraps. There should be updates to the existing petrol and diesel models to boost efficiency, like we've seen on the Ateca, as well as a lower-powered 2.0-litre diesel in place of the old 1.6. What we'd expect to see, too, is some form of hybrid option: the 1.0 and 1.5 TSI engines in the Octavia feature 'E-Tec' mild hybrid tech, while there's even a possibility Skoda could draft in the VW Group's PHEV setup based around a 1.4-litre TSI engine to dramatically reduce the car's fleet average emissions.

All of that remains to be seen, as does any detail on an unveiling. Given the Ateca launched more than a year before the original Karoq it could be some time, though conversely the new Octavia will make the Karoq appear dated inside and out, so the Czech brand may not wait that long.

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