Skoda Citigo: VW's Up! may be in for a fight on home turf
Skoda's take on the small car has (almost) arrived, and it's got something that VW's Up! hasn't - a low entry fee.
I've made no secret of my affection for Skoda in the past. It's a brand without pretention, practically classless. The previous image of 'bits falling off' and terrible engines has been left behind. There's a pretty good reason for this: the Volkswagen Group.
Behind the veil of an 'original product' sits the same basis for VW's Golf, Polo and Passat (amongst others), so their products handle very well indeed. Skoda can also borrow from the company parts bin - Bluetooth tech, sat navs, seating, etc - you name it and you can find it on another VW Group product, though it'll have a brand appropriate name.
Volkswagen has been producing Up! concepts for some years now, and the Frankfurt Motorshow saw the actual car (no longer full of tech and more like a 'normal' car) unveiled to the public. It's small, cheap and will do rather well.
Skoda announced the arrival of it's own Up! derivative - this Citigo - this week. And guess what... It's small, cheap and comes in a rather fetching shade of green.
Thanks to the unique way the VW Group works its pricing strategy the Citigo will be much cheaper than the VW. And while it'll have to do without some toys, it will do much the same thing - get people from A-B as cheaply as possible.
Personally I'm looking forward to the Greenline, as it,'ll doubles achieve about a million miles to the gallon and emit no more Carbon Dioxide than a moth.
Frankfurt not only saw the Up!'s unveiling (my word processor went mental for that one, thanks VW) but Renault launched a face lifted Twingo.
With all-new bug eyes and typical French engineering behind it I can't see it doing overly well. Let's face it, the new Twingo isn't as much of a looker as its bland predecessor.
So the Citigo/Up!/Twingo battle can only really go one way - straight into Skoda's hands. The Twingo's looks will scare children, so that's out in the first instance. If the looks don't do it the French engineering will. That leaves the Up! and the Citigo fighting against one another - and if you're looking for a small car, what are you going to go for? The brand that makes the sainted Golf (which you'd prefer but can't afford) or the cheaper car?
Yeah... Me too.