It’s all about economies of scale these days, so don’t be surprised that Skoda’s whipped the covers off its take on the new Up city car just days after Volkswagen unveiled its own at Frankfurt.
The new Skoda Citigo (see what they did there?) is the Czechs’ sixth model line and will go on sale in UK dealers in summer 2012.
Skoda Citigo: the lowdown
The four-seater Citigo naturally shares most of its engineering DNA with the Up. It’s very compact, at 3560mm, and it shares the wheel-at-each-corner stance with very short overhangs. The Citigo measures 1650mm wide and 1480mm from road to roof.
We could go on with figures – the wheelbase is 2420mm and the boot 251 litres – but you’ll get the idea: they’re all identical to the VW Up’s vital stats.
It’s the same story with the engineering package. An optional laser-operated city safety system will apply the brakes automatically if it detects an imminent crash and a pair of 999cc three-cylinder petrol engines are available at launch:
• 1.0 petrol 59bhp, 70lb ft, 99mph, 13.9sec 0-62mph, 62.8mpg, 105g/km CO2
• 1.0 petrol 74bhp, 70lb ft, 106mph, 12.7sec 0-62mph, 60.1mpg, 108g/km CO2
Sprightly performance and low emissions alike are enabled by the trim 929kg kerbweight and 0.33 drag coefficient.
So what is different on the Citigo?
Well, the look for starters. These first official photos of the new Skoda Citigo show an identical Up silhouette, pepped up mildly by Skoda specific lights and mouldings.
The front grille mimics the new Skoda design language, as espoused by the Concept D at the 2011 Geneva motor show, and the large headlamps bleed up and into the front wings. It’s enough to give the Skoda a different face from the Up’s snout.
Inside, there’s a similar portable navigation device available and an unusual photograph and handbag holder, which speaks volumes about this car’s intended market: younger buyers, and especially women.
The boss on the Skoda Citigo
‘The Citigo is one of the pillars of our growth strategy,’ said Winfried Vahland, chairman of Skoda. ‘It paves the way for tremendous opportunities in a new segment.
‘The demand for small cars with low fuel consumption, at a favourable price with reasonable operating costs, is growing. Skoda’s new small vehicle is a reaction to this trend. We are entering new ground and the Citigo will attract prospects mainly in our European markets.’
Prices will be announced nearer launch. We’d expect the Citigo to undercut the Up, which points to a price somewhere north of £7000.