Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

The Czechs introduced the hatchback Skoda Scala

The Czechs introduced the hatchback Skoda Scala

"Scala demonstrates a completely new interior concept, with new applications you would normally only expect in higher classes".

Some of the specific styling cues borrowed from the concept are the all-glass rear window, instead of the conventional tail-gate. This is the move to create more brand awareness among buyers where Skoda is less known such as China. There will be more storage too, with the Scala's square roofline and 467 litre boot being a significant upgrade on the 375 litres found in the back of the Focus. Although that figure increases to 1,410 with the rear seats folded down.

Bernhard Maier, chairman of the board of management at Skoda, described the Scala as the "next big step forward" for the manufacturer. In global markets, this new hatchback will be introduced as replacement to the Rapid hatch.

The Scala - whose name, fact fans, comes from the Latin for "ladder" - marks a bit of a design revolution for Skoda, featuring a prominent, aggressive grille and the Skoda name spelt out across its boot lid.

Other features also include Skoda's typical umbrella compartment, an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap and the optional electric tailgate, which includes top-to-close function.

There's also multi-collision brake, side assist, blind spot detect, rear traffic alert, lane assist and front assist with city emergency brake (standard, detects pedestrians as well).

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The entire features list has yet to be confirmed, but higher variants will receive options such as keyless entry, wireless smartphone charging and remote door unlocking via a mobile app. Thanks to elements like underbody covers, the Scala has a 0.29 coefficient of drag.

The optional Sport Chassis Control package has 15mm lower suspension, firmer shocks, and two driving modes (Normal and Sport).

Inside there's the VW Group latest infotainment with a range of touchscreen sizes depending on model, a built-in SIM for 4G connectivity, optional digital instruments, quality soft-touch materials, metallic trim and contrast stitching on the seats.

Engine line-up for the United Kingdom is yet to be confirmed but the global range includes three 1.0-litre or 1.5-litre TSI engines and a 1.6-litre TDI with power from 94 to 148bhp. The 1.0-litre petrol engine will come with two states-of-tune producing 99bhp and 115bhp; the 1.5-litre petrol produces 150bhp and the lone 1.6-litre diesel unit churns out 115bhp. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Skoda is still gauging if the Scala is a viable product for the Indian market. In the meantime, the carmaker is working on heavily localising the MQB A0 platform that the hatchback is based on for a number of India-spec models like the T-Cross SUV.

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