Skoda rallies to the cause with Yeti Xtreme concept

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Volkswagen rejoined the World Rally Championship last year and immediately took both the drivers' and manufacturers' titles, and is already on track to do the same this year. But before the VW brand itself got back into rallying, that role belonged to its Czech subsidiary. Škoda won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2010, 2011 and 2012, when it also won the European Rally Championship, as well.

In short, Škoda has some rally chops of its own, and it's into that track record that it is tapping with the Yeti Xtreme concept. Set to be unveiled in a few days time at the GTI festival in Wörthersee, Austria, the concept is based, as you might have guessed, on the existing Yeti crossover – an altogether solid vehicle that the VW Group unfortunately doesn't export to North America – but gets an added dose of rally attitude.

It's upgraded with more muscular bumpers front and rear, sportier door sills, dual exhaust pipes, an adjustable suspension, 17-inch alloys wearing off-road rubber, tinted roof and windows, and a matte grey paintjob with neon yellow accents. Inside, the Yeti Xtreme gets four Recaro racing buckets with four-point harnesses, sports steering wheel with shift paddles, carbon-fiber and aluminum trim, Alcantara upholstery and aluminum pedals. There's an iPad cradle in the dashboard, a first aid kit in the glovebox and a thermos and sand shovel in the door panels.

Unfortunately, the engine doesn't quite live up to the exterior promise, packing the same 1.8-liter turbo four as the stock Yeti with just 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque driving through a six-speed DSG. Škoda quotes a 0-62 time of 9 seconds and a top speed of 119 – which actually seems slower than the stock model. At least Škoda has given the Yeti Xtreme the upgraded brakes from the Octavia vRS...

Feel free to read more in the press release below.
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- Compact SUV with rally car ambitions: rugged concept ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme
- Dynamics: 1.8 TSI/112 kW with all-wheel drive and DSG; height-adjustable chassis, and Octavia RS brakes
- Rally car interior: aluminium floor panel, Recaro sports seats, carbon fibre trim, 'Super Sports' steering wheel, iPad cradle, fire extinguisher, off-road features, rally equipment
- 33rd run of the legendary Volkswagen event from 28 to 31 May 2014

Mladá Boleslav/Reifnitz, 23 May 2014 – At this year's GTI event at Wörthersee, ŠKODA will be presenting the ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme – a world premiere of this solid and sporty concept rally car based on the popular compact SUV. The event will also mark the debut of the ŠKODA CitiJet – a design concept built by ŠKODA apprentices. It is with these expressive vehicles that the brand once again underlines the emotional qualities and versatility of its attractive model range.

This is the 33rd time that the legendary Volkswagen tuning event will be taking place. Around 200,000 tuning fans will be making the pilgrimage to the cult event in Reifnitz, Austria (28 to 31 May). ŠKODA will be taking part in the GTI event for the fifth time.

"We want to continue the positive development and to grow further with new models over the coming years," says Werner Eichhorn, ŠKODA Board Member for Sales and Marketing. "Therefore we are going to strengthen the emotional vibrancy of the brand. ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme – as a dynamic and powerful compact SUV concept – demonstrates the brand's strong expertise in four-wheel drive technology, as well as our know-how when it comes to rally sports."

In creating the ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme, ŠKODA designers have converted their successful compact SUV into a particularly sporty and dynamic rally design. The show car combines the power of an all-wheel drive SUV with strong design elements and equipment features of a racy rally car.

The car is powered by a 1.8 112 kW strong TSI engine and features a six-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG). The maximum torque of 250 Nm is achieved between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. The Yeti Xtreme accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds; its top speed is 192 km/h. The Yeti Xtreme features special Octavia RS brakes.

The striking matt-grey Yeti stands on powerful 17-inch alloy wheels and large off-road tyres. It features tinted side windows, roof and wheel rim inserts are set off in bright yellow-green. At the front, the brawny athlete has a powerful bumper and a large air intake, along with LED headlights. For robust sporting use, the height of the chassis can be adjusted.

The ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme flexes its muscles with strikingly shaped wings and powerful door sills. At the rear, the strong rear bumper bears witness to the power and dynamics of the vehicle, so do the two wide exhaust tailpipes, which sound particularly throaty as a result of the absence of silencers. The boot includes a spare wheel and so-called 'recovery tracks', special traction mats that can be pushed under the wheels, should the car get stuck in sand.

The interior wows with a racy rally design and includes equipment required for rally use. Passengers can sit on 4 individual Recaro sports seats with integrated four-point safety belts. Other features include the 'Super Sport' steering wheel with integrated gearshift paddles.

The designers have used selected high-tech materials for various parts in the car's interior: the inner door covers have been made entirely from carbon fibre; a sand shovel and a thermos flask have been integrated into holders fitted in the panelling; the floor panel is made from aluminium.

The Colour & Trim package includes further carbon fibre elements and high-quality, dark Alcantara surface with green colour accents. Further aluminium details can be found throughout, such as aluminium pedals and special door sill plates. The centre console has been completely re-defined. This is where standard rally car accessories, such as a belt cutter and a fire extinguisher, can be found. An iPad cradle is integrated into the dashboard, a first aid kit into the glove box.

With the ŠKODA Yeti Xtreme, the manufacturer once again demonstrates the versatile potential of its popular compact SUV. The ŠKODA Yeti was completely redesigned in 2013 and is now available in two exciting versions for the first time: the ŠKODA Yeti for the city and the adventurous ŠKODA Yeti Outdoor for rough terrain. The Czech manufacturer celebrated its premiere in the dynamically growing SUV segment with the ŠKODA Yeti in 2009. Around 640,000 ŠKODA Yetis have been sold to date. The brand achieved a market share of more than 4% in the compact SUV segment within the European Union last year, making the Yeti one of the best-selling A-class SUVs in Europe.

The ŠKODA CitiJet design concept is going to be another highlight of ŠKODA's appearance at Wörthersee. The vehicle is a dynamic and emotionally designed city-cabriolet based on the ŠKODA Citigo. The two-seater is the result of the ŠKODA apprentices' project, carried out for the first time this year. Six months in the making, 16 ŠKODA apprentices present the fruits of their labour to the public for the first time.

The ŠKODA CitiJet features a distinctive metallic finish in blue and white and has sporty, blue 16-inch alloy wheels, accompanied by a handmade rear spoiler and a powerful exhaust with two tailpipes. A 1.0 MPI petrol engine with 55 kW (75 PS) can be found under the bonnet.

The car features a sporty interior, with equipment based on the interior of the special edition ŠKODA Citigo SPORT. In addition, the creators have installed a special 300 W sound system, and music-reactive blue LED interior lighting.

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