Skoda Kodiaq Hybrid variant looks unlikely in 2022 [Update]

Update: ‘Hybrid now expected in the next-gen Kodiaq’ section added.

With an aim to cut down fleet emissions by more than 50% by 2030 compared to 2020, Skoda has begun efforts on the electrification front. The company launched the Enyaq iV, is preparing for the launch of the Enyaq Coupe iV on 31 January, 2022, and said that it will launch at least three more EVs later this decade. However, it doesn’t seem to have an electrification plan for the current SUVs Kodiaq and Karoq, at least not in the near term.

New Skoda Kodiaq 2021 facelift rear
Against most expectations, the Kodiaq didn’t get a mild-hybrid system or a plug-in hybrid system during the mid-cycle refresh in 2021. The first-gen model should complete the lifecycle with only conventional engines. Image: Skoda

No Hybrid system on the Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda offers the Kodiaq with five conventional engines, three gasoline units, and two diesel units. Strangely, despite Volkswagen Group’s accelerated electrification strategy, the mid-cycle refresh has not brought a mild-hybrid system or a plug-in hybrid system to the flagship Skoda car.

“We will have Kodiaq hybrid very shortly after Superb hybrid,” Auto Express had reported former Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier saying in November 2016. However, the company’s plans have changed since that interaction. New Skoda CEO Thomas Schafer told Auto Express (reported in October 2021) that there’s no plan to launch a Kodiaq PHEV, as most customers are private buyers, not fleet operators. Plus, there’s a 100% EV available in the same segment – the Enyaq iV. In the UK, thanks to a government grant of up to GBP 2,500, the Enyaq iV starts at just GBP 32,010. With the ICE Kodiaq going from GBP 28,185, an expensive plug-in hybrid variant might not be lucrative to shoppers.

Skoda Auto presented the improved Kodiaq in 2021 with 1.5 TSI Evo, 2.0 TDI, and 2.0 TSI engines. The 1.5 TSI Evo engine comes with a 48V mild-hybrid system in Volkswagen’s Golf family, but Skoda is not offering it on the Kodiaq range. As we explain further in the story, Skoda giving its midsize SUV a partially electric or a fully electric powertrain is inevitable in the long run. However, for the moment, there appears to be no rush for a Skoda Kodiaq Hybrid.

Design

Source: Youtube.com/Skoda

The 2021 Skoda Kodiaq features a more assertive design with an elevated bonnet, a more upright hexagonal radiator grille with bold double ribs, and visibly slimmer headlights. Lower-end configurations have an upgrade in the form of LED headlights, while in the higher-end configurations, LED Matrix headlights have replaced LED headlights.

Some of the wheel designs have undergone a redesign to give the SUV a more rugged appearance. Restyled bumpers, new gloss black rear spoiler, slimmer, sharper tail lights with dynamic turn indicators, and narrower rear window round up the exterior changes.

Interior

The interior of the new Kodiaq isn’t drastically different. An instantly visible change is the new two-spoke steering wheel, which is standard in most configurations. New decorative strips, additional contrasting stitching, and improved ambient lighting functions also increase the premium look and feel inside the SUV. For the first time, Skoda offers a selection of options for its mid-size SUV, including perforated leather seats with electric adjustment, ventilation, and massage function.

New Skoda Kodiaq 2021 facelift interior
The Skoda Kodiaq is now available with a two-spoke steering wheel and the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit. Image Source: Skoda

A noteworthy new feature inside the new Kodiaq facelift is the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit. The new fully digital instrument cluster includes up to five layouts. Skoda has introduced new infotainment apps, including news and weather. The Canton audio system includes two new speakers located in the front door panels, and a circular chrome trim frame them. In total, there are ten speakers instead of eight, and the total output is 575 watts.

Hybrid variant now expected in the next-gen Kodiaq (2024)

The Skoda Kodiaq could get one or more hybrid powertrains in its second generation in 2024. Skoda could offer the next-gen Kodiaq in mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid guises. The mild-hybrid variants may use drives equipped with 1.5-litre and possibly even 2.0-litre turbocharged engines coupled to a 48-volt system and a DSG.

Though Volkswagen has a pluggable EV in the compact segment, the ID.4, it’s reportedly planning to offer the next-gen Tiguan with a plug-in hybrid system. Similarly, Skoda has a pluggable EV comparable to the Kodiaq (Enyaq iV), but it will develop a Kodiaq PHEV, perhaps in view of future emission norms, and markets where EV adoption has not caught on.

The next-gen Kodiaq and Tiguan could share a newly developed plug-in hybrid system that combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor. This powertrain would be more powerful than the 1.4L plug-in hybrid system that the Volkswagen Group brands currently employ. The Kodiaq PHEV could travel up to around 80 km (50 miles) in EV mode, as suggested by report by German magazine Auto Zeitung (via Instagram).

A Skoda Kodiaq EV will arrive in time

During the Q&A session after the announcement of the Skoda Strategy 2030, a journalist asked the management if the company plans to launch a Kodiaq EV. Schafer responded that a Skoda Kodiaq EV or an all-electric model equivalent to the Kodiaq would arrive on the MEB platform or a future VW Group electric vehicle architecture. However, launching EVs below the Enyaq iV is the priority. The company is developing new electric cars in size and price below the Enyaq to reach its electrifications targets and become a Top 5 car brand in Europe by 2030.

This (electrifying Kodiaq), I can agree, and look, it’s always this kind of questions you know, will it be electrified? Eventually, yeah, probably, you know, but will it be based on the same platform? No. Certainly not. So, the Enyaq from the size point of view, you know, it’s almost in the Kodiaq space. For now, as I said, our focus is now going rather a little bit in little smaller than the Enyaq than bigger than the Enyaq. But I wouldn’t say that in the long term that we’re not electrifying or have a vehicle in that space.

Skoda CEO Thomas Schafer at the Skoda Strategy 2030 announcement on June 24, 2021

For now, the only feature the Kodiaq borrows from the Enyaq iV is aerodynamics. Citing Skoda design chief Oliver Stefani, a snippet from Autocar suggests that the company applied learnings from the Enyaq iV to improve the Kodiaq’s aerodynamics in the facelift.

New Skoda Kodiaq 2021 facelift aero wheel
Skoda has introduced special aero wheels for the Kodiaq, a feature that companies normally reserve for PHEVs and BEVs. Image Source: Skoda

When the Kodiaq iV electric model plan gets approved later this decade, a significant amount of component-sharing with other VW Group vehicles would be observed. Expect it to use Volkswagen Group’s SSP mechatronics platform that debuts in 2026. The German conglomerate plans to launch all future EVs based on this platform from 2026.

In the second half of this decade, we will introduce the SSP to form one strong mechantronics platform. Always have this mentioned before the super platform for the whole Volkswagen Group.

Markus Duesmann, R&D chief, Volkswagen Group, and CEO, Audi (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)

Skoda has sold 650,000+ units of the Kodiaq in just 6 years, and it’s clear that the SUV has a big future. The table shows how the Kodiaq became a rising star in Skoda’s line-up and has performed over the years:

YearSkoda Kodiaq sales
2016447
201799,961
2018149,195
2019171,794
2020131,590
202198,600
Cumulative (Total)651,587
Skoda Kodiaq sales (Source: Skoda)

Featured Image Source: Skoda