Interview: Skoda tech chief on turning an Octavia into an SUV
3 March 2009

The Skoda Yeti SUV is one of the neatest production cars at this year's Geneva show. It takes the Czech manufacturer into a new market - and as Skoda technical director Eckhard Scholtz explains, the firm's engineers have used some pretty left-field methods to make it a cost-effective project.

Read more about the Skoda Yeti

What is the platform basis of the Yeti?

It is basically the Octavia with shorter front and rear overhangs and a completely new upper structure and revised Haldex four-wheel drive system.

Why didn’t you share platforms with the VW Tiguan or Audi Q5?

They are too expensive for Skoda and too big and high, like proper SUVs. We need an affordable price point and better fuel economy. The Yeti’s lower roof and smaller profile help that.

See more pics of the Skoda Yeti

What about the four-wheel drive?

It is based on the Octavia Scout with some important differences. We have added a traction control system to reduce slip when going up and down hills, and have higher ground clearance and a steeper front ramp angle. The Yeti can attack much steeper hills because of that.

The interior looks to be of high quality?

We are very proud of the interior. It is very similar in quality to the Superb. The only difference is that the lower dash is in hard plastic. Also the panel gaps - they are the tightest of any Skoda model at 3.5mm, identical to Audi and VW.

Geneva cars: news and images

Chery DR, Ferrari 599XX, Ford Iosis Max, Frazer Nash Namir, Hyundai ix-onic, Infiniti Essence, Kia No3, Lagonda Concept, Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Land Rover Freelander TD4_e, Mazda CX-7, Mini JCW Cabriolet, Mitsubishi iMIEV Sport Air, Nissan Qazana, Renault Megane RS, RUF Greenster, Skoda Fabia vRS, Skoda Yeti, Tata Nano Europa, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Polo see Mike Duff's in-depth Geneva show coverage

Lagonda Concept, Skoda Yeti, Rolls Royce 200 EX, Vauxhall Ampera, Nissan Qazana, Infiniti Essence, Bentley Continental Supersports, Ford Iosis Max

Video blogs from the show floor

Audi TT RS, Ferrari 599XX, Hyundai ix-onic concept, Kia No3, Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Mercedes E-class coupe, Peugeot 3008, Renaultsport Megane, Subaru Legacy, VW Polo

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