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Yeti is Skoda's new big foot

Czech it out: The Skoda Yeti leads new-model releases at Geneva.

Geneva debut for Yeti and other new Skoda models

16 Feb 2009

VOLKSWAGEN value brand Skoda will release its Yeti SUV at the Geneva motor show in early March, along with fresh new engines and a Scout version of its Fabia light car.

Leading the charge will be the production version of the Yeti Concept car unveiled at the 2005 Geneva Show and brought to Australia for the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October 2007.

However, sales will not start in Europe until around September, with an Australian launch not slated until sometime in the first half of next year at the earliest.

Skoda describes the Yeti as a “…trendy car … destined both for urban driving and leisure time,” adding that it “comes with state-of-the-art technologies that ensure not only excellent behaviour on the road, but also great riding qualities off-road”.

“Full-blooded SUV represents smart and practical solution for customers who want a compact, while robust, universal and ultimately safe car.”

European reports suggest a variation of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s (Golf-based) architecture will underpin the Yeti, although other sources cite a development of Volkswagen’s B-segment platform that serves the Skoda Roomster and Fabia.

All-wheel and front-wheel-drive versions of the Yeti will be offered in due course, in petrol and diesel guises.

All other details – as well as official pictures – will be revealed at the press day at Geneva on March 3.

Meanwhile, Skoda will use the Swiss show next month to debut the Volkswagen Group’s all-new and highly efficient 1.6-litre TDI CR common-rail turbo-diesel engine with a diesel particulate filter.

To be branded under the GreenLine series of eco models in Skoda’s line-up, the 1.6 TDI CR delivers 77kW of power and 250Nm of torque (the same as the larger and older 1.9 TDI PD Pumpe Dusse diesel units), and should be destined for a variety of Skoda, Volkswagen, Seat and Audi vehicles.

In the Octavia GreenLine model making its Geneva debut, the 1.6 TDI CR averages about 4.4L/100km, while emitting 116g/km.

Australians will probably have to wait until sometime in the second half of this year to sample this powerplant in the upcoming Volkswagen Golf VI and Octavia ranges. Whether this engine will boast the same output, economy and emissions levels as the GreenLine cars remains to be seen.

Also up in the air is the fate of the Fabia Scout – another Geneva debutante – in Australia.

Like the Octavia model of the same name, the Scout is expected to sport added SUV-style body cladding to the wagon version, along with higher ground clearance and the possibility of all-wheel drive, as Skoda seeks to take on the likes of the Suzuki SX4 and its Fiat Sedici clone in Europe.

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