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Skoda hints at new design direction

Skoda has released an image of a future model's side profile, which resembles its VisionC concept from the 2014 Geneva show.

Skoda has previewed the future of its design language with the release of a single teaser image, which appears to move away from the Czech brand's previously whimsical features in favour of a more purposeful look.

Similarities can be seen between the side profile sketch and the car-maker's VisionC five-door coupe concept from the 2014 Geneva motor show, which hinted at the look of the upcoming Superb sedan and wagon that went on sale in Australia early last year.

Angular headlight and tail-light designs seen in the darkened teaser are reminiscent of the VisionC, suggesting that Skoda may follow through on the concept and produce their own version of the Volkswagen Arteon which made its debut at this year's Geneva show.

Succeeding the CC, the Arteon shares the Passat's underpinnings and changes its form to that of a swoopy liftback sedan, with the flagship Volkswagen set to arrive in October this year.

While no such model is in the pipeline yet, an Arteon-based product would be a fitting addition to the manufacturer's line-up.

Superb and Passat models are built on the same platform, meaning that Skoda's own version of the Arteon – which would pay homage to the VisionC – remains on the cards.

Thrust could be provided by the Arteon's 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which develops 206kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

Top-of-the-line all-wheel drive Superb and Passat variants, as well as the forthcoming Arteon, already use this powerplant and pair it with a six-speed 'DSG' dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Skoda Australia PR boss Paul Pottinger said that while no such model is in the pipeline yet, an Arteon-based product would be a fitting addition to the manufacturer's line-up.

"This goes to the fundamental nature of MQB (Volkswagen Group's front- and all-wheel drive platform) and its modularity, so I think if a platform can support cars as diverse as an Octavia and a Kodiaq, then certainly it wouldn't be illogical to suggest it could support something that's much closer in nature as a Superb and an Arteon-like vehicle," he said.

The so-called 'quirkiness' is probably a thing of the past and more svelte, sculpted lines are very much where Skoda is now.

Mr Pottinger also suggested that brand's distinctive Yeti will follow the design direction of other new Skoda models when it is eventually updated, meaning that the small SUV and its Kodiaq big brother – scheduled for release in June – will share a family look.

"The Kodiaq is very much in the vein of our design language now, and I think that the so-called 'quirkiness' is probably a thing of the past and more svelte, sculpted lines are very much where Skoda is now," he said.

"So that more practical, utilitarian aspect of Skoda for which it's been synonymous is going to henceforth be covered with more classic, sculpted external lines."

Native crystal glass art has served as inspiration for the new design language, which can be seen by the  triangular shape of the headlights and tail-lights in the image, according to the brand.

Does Skoda need to develop a striking new design language to attract more buyers? Tell us what you think in the comments below.