Skoda India has introduced a cheaper variant of its Laura brand in the market which has been witnessing “Corporate Edition’ trend started by BMW. The new Skoda Laura TSi Classic sedan is launched for the price of Rs. 11.99 Lakh (Ex-Showroom Delhi). The company has reduced some luxury features of the previous model which was costlier than this new variant.
The Skoda Laura Classic will slot in as the base variant of the Laura – at Rs. 11.99 lakhs (Ex-Showroom Delhi). Since this is the case, Laura Classic buyers won’t get front fog lamps, rear parking sensors, lumbar support adjustment for driver and front passenger seats, a front center arm-rest, automatic climate control, rear-A/C vents, leather wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and brake lever, and storage compartment under the front passenger seat.
The Classic is an attempt by Skoda to lure more customers under its brand umbrella as well as attract corporate buyers who are looking for an upmarket sedan for a company car. Since a corporate edition is expected to be chauffeur-driven, some of the more luxury elements go missing. However, the lack of a rear AC vent in befuddling, since this is one feature most corporate passengers will expect at the price.
The Classic variant will feature Steel wheels instead of Alloys and a single-DIN CD player with instead a Central infotainment system – understandable since these are premium features.
Skoda Laura Variants
Other than the Classic variant, the Laura is available in three other variants: Skoda Laura Laurin & Klement, Elegance, and Ambiente. These three variants are available with a choice of three engines: 1.8-litre TSI petrol, 1.9-litre TDI PD, and 2.0-litre TDI PD, that generate 160 bhp, 110 bhp and 140 bhp respectively.
The TSi engine is a combination of a turbocharger, a stratified direct fuel injection system, and variable valve timing. The combination of these three engine technologies ensures improved performance and better mileage. The TDI Pump Duse engine is an advanced technology diesel system (pioneered by VW) that plays a vital role in improving the engine’s response and providing better acceleration.
The 1.8-litre TSI is available in the Ambiente variant with a 6-speed manual transmission and the 2.0-litre TDI PD is available in the Laurin and Klement with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 1.9-litre TDI PD is available in both Elegance and Ambiente with an option of 5-speed manual transmission and 6-speed automatic transmission.
Skoda, which is part of the Volkswagen group, has been doing well of late. The Czech carmaker registered a 38% sales growth in 2010 as against sales in 2009. Skoda also recently launched the facelifted Skoda Fabia and reduced its price range which has boosted sales. In December 2010, Skoda sold 2617 Fabia cars taking the annual total to 20,000 units. Updated sales figures for the Laura aren’t immediately available, though Skoda hopes the car can be as big a success as the Vento has been for parent Volkswagen.
The Skoda Laura Ambiente costs Rs. 13,43,690 and the Elegance costs Rs. 13,43,690 (Ex-Showroom Delhi).