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With a statute of limitations: a review of Skoda Kamiq

The number of speculations on the topic of the start of Russian sales of Skoda Kamiq in the last two days just rolls over. Obviously, this B-Class front-wheel-drive crossover, which has so far been tested only on Chinese buyers, is of such interest in our country that journalists are not averse to warm their hands on the trust of Russian readers. How many news came out on the topic “the timing of delivery of Skoda Kamiq to Russia” is defined! No, not defined. We tell the whole truth first-hand, in detail and in order.

At the end of April 2018, the world premiere of Skoda Kamiq took place at the Beijing Motor Show – a month later the car went on sale. By the beginning of winter, Kamiq overtook not only all brand crossovers in monthly sales, but even Rapid, although it was Rapid that could compete with the new crossover at a price: the sedan was the only car that sells cheaper than Kamika. Even the dorestayling Skoda Octavia, which goes to the Middle Kingdom as a model of “2017 model year” – and that is more expensive.

Chinese Kamiq is radically different from the European version, which is especially noticeable both in appearance and in interior. Let’s start with the exterior and look closely at the car, presented in Geneva.

The headlights in China are completely ordinary, halogen, and from the European LED luxury there are only running lights that have been carried to the bumper. The bumper itself is also of a different shape, and in general the Chinese sample looks frankly rustic. It seems that the buyers of the Middle Kingdom slipped some old design. Similarly, the interior is different.

Notice how much space for the knees I have left in the second row, although Kamiq is based on the smallest version of the entire family of MQB enterprise platforms. Actually, the Chinese Kamiq in the cabin resembles a hybrid of the current Rapid and Octavia of the previous generation, and again looks very outdated against the background of its European counterpart. It is clear that the Asian performance would have to run in the Old World, if only five or six years ago.

But under the hood in the Celestial Empire, the “European” engine stands quite well – this is a 1.5-liter TSI with a turbocharger of the EA211 Evo series; liter aspirated collected in Kaluga. Evo-motors, working on the Miller cycle, are designed for AI-98, in Russia they are unlikely to take root in the budget segment.

Yes, without localization to start the car in Russia does not make sense, because in this case it will be comparable in price to Karoq, which, by the way, should be put on the Russian conveyor at the end of this year. Interestingly, Skoda does not officially indicate the assembly site. Only after the launch of Karoq in Russia, namely next year, Skoda Kamiq will “cheat”. This process itself does not guarantee that the decision on the Russian launch of Skoda Kamiq will be positive. However, if the “calculators” give “good”, the car will appear with us at best in the first quarter of 2021. In any case, we clarify that this is not official information, but it is quite reliable, obtained from our own sources Kolesa.ru in the Russian representation of Skoda.

Interestingly, the appearance in Russia of active driver assistance systems, which can be identified on the machine by the presence of a “plug” on the false radiator grille and camera installed in the upper part of the windshield, is not excluded. This complex includes systems of emergency braking, holding lanes and active cruise control.

Actually, it is Kamiq that can become the first car that will acquaint Russians with the MQB A0 platform. Of particular interest is the issue of comfort in the second row, which is able to provide a semi-dependent rear suspension. In addition, it is interesting what the ground clearance of the Kamika will be if four people sit in the cabin – the springs sagging significantly, even if one person sits on the front row. When adapting a car to Russian conditions, they will surely get rid of the “dokatka”, replacing it with a full-size spare wheel. However, this is not the key issue. The question is different: which version for Russia will be considered – European or Chinese?

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