The next-generation Skoda Yeti, which is due to arrive in 2018, will become more of a traditional SUV than a crossover, as the refreshed car finds a new place in the Czech manufacturer's line-up.
Following the launch of the Kodiaq SUV at the Paris motor show this autumn, Skoda will then turn its attention to bringing a fresh face to the Yeti, which has long been the firm’s only crossover model.
Speaking at Skoda’s annual press conference, where the firm revealed it had set a new sales record in 2015, new Skoda boss Bernhard Maier said he was aware of the Yeti’s following in Europe, saying the car is “a success story" for Skoda. "It is not a surprise and not a secret that the Yeti will be reborn," he added. "It’s already in development and looks beautiful, and sticks to the ideals of the brand.”
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Those ideals are understood to be practicality, a spacious cabin and affordability - principals which have also guided the development of the Kodiaq and its subsequent variants.
Like the Kodiaq, the new Yeti will feature styling cues taken from the VisionS concept car, with key elements likely to include a more prominent grille, clamshell bonnet and slim LED headlights. The curved shape of today’s car will make way for a body with more traditional SUV design cues, which are likely to mean a raised ride height, strong shoulder line and high bonnet.
It’s unknown whether Skoda will choose to launch the next-generation Yeti in a single body style or bring different versions to market as with today’s car, which can be bought both as an urban-focused version or a chunkier ‘Outdoor’ model.
While Maier was scant on details, he did confirm that the new Yeti would offer more space than the current car, which features 416 litres of boot volume with its rear seats in place, rising to 1760 litres with them folded away.
The core of the Yeti’s powertrains are likely to remain 2.0-litre diesel engines, but Maier has hinted that at least one version will be electrified. He described bringing electric powertrains to Skoda as “a clear challenge,” and said engineers “are working to find the best solution for Skoda".
A plug-in hybrid is the most likely choice for Skoda, given that the brand has already committed to bringing such a powertrain to the Superb in 2019, but given how far the Volkswagen Group’s latest electrification strategy is likely to reach, a fully electric version can’t be ruled out. It’s understood that any hybrid or electric version of the Yeti won’t form part of the launch range, however, instead appearing later in the car’s life cycle.