Skoda is gearing up to unveil the Karoq compact SUV in May 2017. The new compact SUV will replace the much-appreciated Skoda Yeti, but go for a more conventional SUV styling rather than the Yeti’s straight-backed stance. Alongside being a capable SUV with multiple engine variants, the Skoda Karoq will be loaded with impressive technology inside that will raise the bar for in-car technology in this segment.
The headlining technology of the Skoda Karoq is its advanced driver assist technology, which includes a host of predictive modes that use the car’s range of sensors and advanced algorithms. Along with that you get a fully programmable digital instrument cluster, two capacitive touch displays that run on Skoda SmartLink+ infotainment software with Skoda Connect services, Internet connectivity, wireless phone charging, and more.
Advanced driver assist
The Skoda Karoq will include a host of sensors, primarily relying on a radar-based adaptive cruise control system to provide parking, lane switching and traffic assistance, blind spot detection, predictive pedestrian protection and maneuvering assistance with trailer assist.
The radar-based sensors provide 360-degree proximity details to provide adaptive cruise control and lane control. The sensors read the car’s surroundings and identify lane markings to determine the relative speed and distance between two vehicles, and then choosing to automatically brake, accelerate to cruising speed, or switch lanes. The front sensors also employ safety restrictions and provide blind spot detection to inform drivers when a car is approaching from beyond the field of view of the rear-view mirrors. The Skoda Karoq will also identify parking spaces and use the array of proximity sensors to automatically steer the car into parking parallelly or perpendicularly.
The parking mechanism is similar to what we have seen already in the Land Rover Discovery Sport, but is presumably smarter and more precise because of the larger range of sensors and new algorithms controlling them. Active lane switching with adaptive cruise control will also be new in this segment, providing features that are somewhat similar to Tesla’s Autopilot mode.
Displays and more
The central instrument cluster will get a fully programmable digital information display, which can be customised by the driver to his/her own needs. This display will work as an ancillary unit to the main 9.2-inch touchscreen console at the centre and the screen below it, and show navigation, audio, telephone information and the car’s statistics, also including digital speedometers, a tachometer, tripmeter and more.
Along with that will be the central infotainment display, which will be powered by Volkswagen Group’s SmartLink+ infotainment software. The platform will include support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink as we’ve seen in the existing SmartLink system in the Volkswagen Beetle, alongside providing the usual wireless connectivity with Bluetooth. SmartLink+ will also allow you to view photographs and videos on the infotainment setup, and the car will include an inductive wireless charging plate around the central console.
The second display will give access to further settings in the car, and include WLAN hotspot sharing. The system will also support additional LTE modules, using which passengers can connect their smartphones and tablets to the Internet. Other elements include full LED headlamps, 10-colour LED ambient lighting system, five driving modes with automatic start-stop and regenerative braking, slowly becoming a norm in cars. The Karoq will also include hill hold control, and emergency assistance that will help control the car if the driver fails to take charge.
Drivetrain and India launch
The India variant of the Skoda Karoq may not include some of the features like Lane Assist, but we do expect most of the features to make it to the country. Two petrol and two diesel turbocharged engines will power the Karoq, and the SUV will be capable of delivering power between 115bhp and 190bhp. Transmission options will range between six-speed manual and 7-speed DSG gearboxes, and the top-of-the-line Karoq will come with 7-speed DSG and 4x4 drivetrain.
The Skoda Karoq will be unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden on May 18, following which we expect to see the tech-laden compact SUV in India later this year.
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