2016 Geneva Show Highlights: Welcome to SUV World, Fellas

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I guess that word is perfectly match for Maserati, SEAT, and Skoda which just unveiled its first-ever SUV to the crowd at 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Yes, this is the second batch after Bentley and Jaguar introduced their first SUV last year. SUV segment is enthused by people at the moment. So, in order to add its profit and sales, these three European brands decide to get into SUV class. And who will be in the third batch? I guess Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce.

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The wait is over. Recently the Italian carmaker, Maserati just unveiled its first ever SUV, Levante. Yes, after nearly five years preparing the production-spec of its SUV, now Maserati is ready to plunge to luxury SUV segment. Levante will compete with Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport.

For the exterior design, Maserati’s designers took inspiration from Kubang Concept that made its debut at 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, but there are changes in some parts. At the front, Maserati redesigned the headlights so it’s looked aggressive. Furthermore, the car company also adds fog lights right under the headlights, and new air dam. But Maserati keeps the big grille with a giant Trident logo.

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Under the hood, the Italian carmaker offers petrol engine with two output options, 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 producing 345 hp and 424 hp. And there’s a diesel engine option with 3.0 liter V6 twin-turbo producing 271 hp. All the engines are mated to Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system that can transfer torque between the axles instantaneously when required, and an 8-speed automatic transmission, with an integrated Start&Stop system.

Maserati said that Levante’s chassis was designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride.

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SEAT’s first ever SUV, Ateca made its global debut at 2016 Geneva Motor Show. It’s a mid-SUV that is prepared to fight against Ford Kuga, Hyundai ix35/Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Qashqai/Rogue, and Renault Kadjar. SEAT Ateca was built on MQB Platform that’s also used for latest VW Tiguan.

At a glance, the  Ateca is looked like Leon SUV. It can be seen from its headlights design that features LED Daytime Running Lights (also has same form, too). But the mid-SUV has bigger air dam to give a tough look. And at the rear, SEAT’s designers took the inspiration from latest Leon LED taillights. But they have done some modify so, Ateca’s taillights has sharper design.

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Not only design that reminds me of Leon, but also the dimension. SEAT Ateca comes up with same size, 4.36 meters long, 1.84 meters wide, 1.6 meters tall, and 2.64 meters wheelbase. And for luggage capacity, the 5-seater SUV has 510 liters for FWD type and 485 liters for AWD model. Inside, the SUV brings a nice interior design with high quality material touch. In addition, Ateca features Traffic Jam Assist, Emergency Assist, ACC with Front Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Top View Camera.

For the powertrain, the Spanish brand offers petrol and diesel engines that comes up with turbocharged. For gasoline engines, buyer can choose a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder producing 113 hp, and a 1.4 liter with cylinder deactivation technology and it can produce 148 hp. And diesel engines, SEAT has a 1.6 liter TDI producing 113 hp, and a 2.0 liter TDI which has two options of output, 148 hp and 187 hp. Those engines are mated to 6-speed manual transmission or you can choose 7-speed dual clutch as an optional.

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The Czech car company, Skoda is finally tempted to taste how sweet (and hard) SUV segment is. Unlike its sibling from Spanish, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show Skoda prefer to introduce the concept version to the public. Named Vision S, it could be a preview how the first SUV from Skoda will look alike.

Speaking of exterior design, Vision S Concept looks futuristic and tough at the same time. It comes up with a completely new design language. There’s no look like, similar, or even same to any other current Skoda models. At the front, Skoda’s designers put rectangle LED headlights and below that there are fog lights. Meanwhile, its grille comes up with chrome accents and vertical lines motive. Instead of using circular line design that has been used for other SUVs, Skoda prefer to show the traditional design line, boxy. The result is very good. Skoda success to combine traditional design with modern touch. At the rear, I don’t know why when I saw its taillights, reminds me of latest Hyundai Santa Fe. But I won’t complain because its design is genuine, actually.

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Vision S Concept can accommodate up to 6 people. Skoda Vision S Concept is powered by 1.4 liter TSI 154 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The petrol engine is accompanied by two electric motors that is integrated to DSG 6-speed gearbox dual clutch which 54 hp and 220 Nm of torque. Another electric motor is integrated to rear-axle and can produce 116 hp and 270 Nm of torque.

Total output is about 222 hp and its top speed is around 200 km/h. Skoda Vision S Concept can reach 0-100 km/h 7.4 seconds and it has 50 km/liter fuel consumption. In electric mode, the 6-seater SUV can travel up to 50 km and when the engine kicks in, it rises to 1,000 km.

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The production spec of Vision S Concept is planned to make its debut at 2016 Paris Motor Show. Rumor has it that Skoda will use Kodiak name when it gets into production line.

Text: Andhika Pradityo

Photos: Maserati, SEAT, & Skoda

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