The upcoming Paris Motor Show’s most advertised premiere has, thus far, been Skoda’s first ever midsize SUV and these are the first images of the Kodiaq courtesy of, which broke the story.

Usually, there is a sizeable gap between displaying a model as a study and launching the production version. Not this time, though, for the seven-seater SUV that will be unveiled shortly was previewed only five months ago at Geneva by the VisionS concept.

More of the actual car with an extremely thin, as it turns out, layer of motor show veneer than a concept, really, since the Kodiaq differs only in details like the door handles and the shape of the mirrors. Put them side by side and you’ll have a hard time distinguishing which is which. Good, for the sharp, clear lines of the 4.7-meter-long SUV could very well make it the model Skoda needs to give its sales a significant boost, consign its past “VW on a budget” image to history once and for all and even enter the, until now out of reach, huge North American market.

Scheduled to hit the market in early 2017, it is larger than both the VW Tiguan and Seat Ateca with which it shares its MQB platform. A sensible move by the German juggernaut to avoid any of the three cannibalizing each other’s sales and focus instead on hitting the competition on every front.

The Kodiaq with be available with three TSI petrol and two TDI diesel engines in both front- and all-wheel drive versions, with a manual six-speed gearbox as standard and a double-clutch DSG an option. Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and Driving Mode Select chassis technologies will be included, with Skoda adding an off-road mode for AWD models.

Skoda also stresses that driver assistance systems like Area View cameras, Tow Assist, Front Assist and adaptive cruise control, as well as an infotainment with the latest on the industry (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an LTE module and WiFi hotspot) will be part of its edgy crossover’s tech arsenal.

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