Skoda has not even begun deliveries for the Karoq compact crossover to their customers, and yet, they are already open to discuss future derivatives to add to the lineup. Rather than developing another Yeti, the company decided to halt the production of that model and instead replace it with a Sportline variant for next year, giving it a more aggressive appearance minus the hardware upgrades. But if you are interested in the high-performance version, you will have to wait until 2019 for it to be launched.
The Karoq Sportline will go on sale in 2019 at the earliest. And if they were to discuss a RS version, it would either have a pure petrol or something else. It is unsure whether it would feature plug-in hybrid systems like those on the VW Golf GTE and Passat GTE, or even a 48-volt mild hybrid setup with a smaller battery that works as a performance aid.
Though the automaker has not confirmed production of the RS model just yet, Christian Strube, R&D boss of Skoda, did say in his interview with Auto Express that he is keen on making it happen. Apart from that, he also was the person who made the Kodiaq RS push through. This model will be out sometime next year. Also, in 2019, we might see the very first Skoda with an electrified powertrain, which will be the Kodiaq’s smaller brother. It might also be joined by the plug-in versions of the Superb and the Kodiaq.
Furthermore, the SEAT Ateca, also known as the Karoq’s Spanish cousin, will soon be getting an old school 2.0 liter turbocharged gasoline engine with as much as 300 horsepower for the range-topping Cupra, while the Karoq RS features a different setup. Though the combustion engine will not have much power compared to the equivalent SEAT, the electric motor will still make up for it.
Christian Strube hinted that they are already evaluating prototypes of an electric Karoq RS. He said that Skoda engineers are building vehicles that he can drive, and he asserts that using hardware is the best way to convince someone.
It seems like the RS portfolio will be expanding after the Kodiaq RS and the potential Karoq RS, because the automaker did mention that they are considering a Superb RS as well. The only bad news is that they will not be considering a new Citigo or a Fabia RS and that is because there seems to be no demand for it. However, they do think that there might be a potential demand for a hot supermini and its wagon equivalent.
Furthermore, the automaker plans to electrify at least a quarter of its vehicles, and sell these by 2025.