The styling of the all-new Skoda Yeti — set to hit UK roads in early 2018 — has been signed off, design chief Jozef Kaban has confirmed to Autocar.
Although Kaban wouldn’t be drawn on specifics, he said the Yeti’s current distinctive boxy style wouldn’t be abandoned completely. But he also acknowledged that the Kodiaq, Skoda’s new large SUV, would inform its look. Potential customers are expected to get their first chance to see the new Yeti in mid-2017, ahead of its UK on-sale date in early 2018.
“It’s no secret we didn’t build the Kodiaq in isolation, and there are aspects of that car that can look good in every segment,” said Kaban. “There was an aspect to the Kodiaq brief that meant we needed to keep in mind that it is a car that is opening the door to a very attractive SUV world. So, of course, it can influence how other SUVs might look.
“I’d say that the next Yeti will look up to its bigger brother, rather than simply being cut from the same cloth. As with any family, the big brother will have influence, but each member of the family will have their own spectacular talents.”
Kaban’s comments are thought to reference some of the Kodiaq’s most distinctive design touches, including the front and rear light elements, the front grille design and its front, rear and side profiles.
The current Yeti has been on sale in a variety of updated forms since 2009 and has enjoyed increased sales in Europe every year since its launch. However, its sales growth has slowed in the past two years despite the segment booming, peaking at about 65,000 units in Europe — around a quarter of the number achieved by Nissan’s market-leading Nissan Qashqai.
The new launch is likely to give Skoda the opportunity to move the Yeti onto the VW Group’s MQB platform, bringing with it economies of scale and greater access to the newest generation of engines and technology. As such, it will be powered by the latest petrol and diesel engines and have some advanced technology options from the Kodiaq, potentially including the option of limited autonomous functions to allow it to drive itself in traffic jams.
The switch to the MQB platform also means the new Yeti will sit in the VW Group’s range alongside the Seat Ateca, Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi Q3, giving the firm its most convincing SUV line-up for the European market yet.