In a market that has come to be dominated by sports activities utility automobiles (SUVs), the sedan physique type has seen super stress during the last decade. Many manufacturers have discontinued manufacturing or import of among the hottest sedans of the current previous. And this culling has been throughout dimension and value segments. The most recent to go was the Toyota Yaris. The one ones surviving have been from the sub-compact sedan class; and even there the numbers are skewed in the direction of demand from fleet operators.
So, what provides Skoda Auto India the boldness to line-up a sedan as its subsequent providing. The lately christened Slavia would be the subsequent mannequin to roll out of Skoda’s facility. The corporate calls it a notchback, nevertheless it definitely matches the basic profile of a midsize C phase sedan. Skoda has been recognized for its sedans ranging from the Octavia with which it debuted its innings in India twenty years in the past. Later the Very good and the Octavia RS have helped cement the premium, sporty sedan roots of the model. Now, Skoda feels it could be the appropriate time to carry again the mojo within the sedan phase.
The brand new Skoda Slavia will likely be constructed on the identical MQB-AO-IN platform that the Kushaq was additionally primarily based on. The versatile, fully-scalable, mild and inflexible platform will allow Skoda to deal with security, class-leading experience and dealing with, and in holding a good rein on prices, say firm officers. The Slavia will likely be larger than the primary era Octavia (a D-segment sedan); a stat that actually units the tone for what to anticipate from the brand new mannequin. Quite a lot of details about the Slavia is embargoed until November 18 this 12 months when Skoda is about to host a digital international premiere. Among the info and opinion that I’m sharing right here relies on what has been allowed by Skoda on the camouflaged prototype take a look at drive occasion carried out in Pune lately. The precise dimensions of the Slavia are – wheelbase: 2,651mm, size: 4,541mm, width: 1,752mm and top: 1,487mm. It’ll compete with the likes of the Honda Metropolis, the Hyundai Verna and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. The Slavia that I take a look at drove was closely camouflaged with stickering that bore a design that was one of many award-winning submissions in a contest carried out by Skoda. The orange colored kaleidoscopic design of the pores and skin you see in these footage nonetheless reveals off the ultimate profile of the Slavia. The sedan will borrow design strains from the Kushaq, together with a reinterpreted model of the butterfly grille that could be a Skoda signature.
Quite a lot of data concerning the design, cabin and construct continues to be confidential. however what I can inform you is that the cabin will get a digital cockpit that gives a number of real-time drive associated info. And there’s a beneficiant quantity of area within the cabin and boot.
Give attention to security
Based on Skoda officers, the Slavia has not simply been examined for generic crash exams just like the Indian homologation cycle and GNCAP, however has additionally been designed and examined for extra stringent crash situations which are primarily based on inner Volkswagen requirements. About 67 per cent of the Slavia’s construction is constructed from excessive tensile energy metal and about 14 per cent from scorching fashioned metal. Each the construction integrity and aspect airbags efficiency is claimed to have been designed and examined to satisfy a aspect pole crash situation which is claimed to be greater than GNCAP requirements. Slavia’s curtain airbag design has additionally been conceived to supply equal head influence safety to the entrance and rear occupants. Whereas Skoda’s embargo stops me from elaborating on a lot of the Slavia’s design, I can add right here that precedence has been given for pedestrian security additionally. At present Indian regulatory necessities solely mandate safety to decrease leg and head influence, however the Slavia is designed to cut back higher leg accidents additionally. The Slavia has additionally undergone in depth open air and excessive climate testing which is claimed to have been carried out during the last two years in each Arizona within the US and in Aurangabad, India. The automobile has been examined over 100,000 kms for mud, water ingress and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
The Skoda Slavia will likely be provided with the identical two TSI petrol engines that the Kushaq can also be being provided with. The MQ200 one-litre, turbocharged, 3-cylinder petrol engine and the MQ281 four-cylinder, TSI 1.5-litre petrol engine are provided in the identical state of tune because the Kushaq, however will sport a unique set of drugs ratios, although they’re provided with the identical three gearbox choices. The 6-speed handbook transmission is obtainable as commonplace. And whereas the 1.0-litre will be specified with the AQ250 6-speed automated gearbox, the 1.5-litre will be had with the 7-speed DSG – dual-clutch automated gearbox. The 1.0-litre TSI delivers 115PS of peak energy and the 1.5-litre delivers the identical 150PS of peak energy as within the Kushaq.
The 1.5-litre with the DSG transmission will even get steering mounted paddles for handbook gear choice. Each the engines are peppy and refined, and although their output numbers could seem nearly sufficient for a mid-size sedan, they need to ship wonderful driveability for the Slavia. I’m notably trying ahead to driving the ultimate manufacturing model of the handbook gearbox variant of the 1.0-litre Slavia. That’s one nice sounding 3-cylinder even at excessive revs.
Trip and dealing with
The spotlight of the camouflaged prototype I drove was its experience and dealing with. The suspension tuning delivers a agency, but pliant experience like within the Kushaq. Placing it via some actually dangerous patches at velocity nonetheless doesn’t shake issues up within the cabin. There’s a sense of solidity that the experience high quality brings to the driving expertise. I take a look at drove the proto in Pune metropolis, some damaged tarmac within the outskirts and on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. I used to be informed by Skoda officers that the suspension settings are but to be fantastic tuned. Trim and variant technique particulars are additionally awaited.
The Skoda Slavia is an all new sedan that’s being launched after a protracted hole. Skoda officers say that the corporate is eager on setting new benchmarks within the sedan phase to carry the lure again to this physique type. They count on the AO phase to develop by 138 per cent and that Slavia will ship on all the client expectations on this phase.
A sedan does luxurious and luxury higher than a SUV can. And I personally really feel that there’s a larger sense of possession in a sedan than a SUV. If the Slavia can ship the bottom clearance and the driveability of a SUV for the common automobile purchaser who is rarely going to try off-roading ranges of engagement, then the sedan may simply be the one to decide on.
In the end, the client is king and the hope is that the pendulum of choice will swing again in favour of sedans within the years to come back. The Slavia certain appears and feels well-equipped to reap the benefits of the re-emergence of the sedan. Count on costs to vary from ₹10- 17 lakh.