Every year, around 200,000 loyal devotees of the dark arts of tuning converge on the small Austrian town of Reifnitz to soak up the very best in German performance engineering at Volkswagen’s annual Wörthersee GTI showcase. For the 33rd edition of this pedal-to-the-metal extravaganza, Škoda are getting in on the act by bringing to the party a bonkers new take on one of their most recognisable models; introducing the Škoda Yeti Xtreme.
Building on the ever popular compact SUV framework, the new Yeti Xtreme is a rugged rally ready warrior kitted out with an array of off road essentials.
For starters, the car is powered by the same 1.8 lire TSI engine found on the most powerful petrol variant of the Yeti Outdoor. Like its stable-mate, the all-wheel drive Xtreme features a six-speed dual clutch transmission and tops the torque rating at 185 lb ft. 0 to 62mph is vanquished in 9 seconds up to a ceiling of 120 mph. To keep this power in check, the Yeti Xtreme borrows its brakes from the sports-tuned Octavia RS.
The familiar clean-shaven SUV skin is shed in favour of an altogether more rugged persona, more akin to the world of rallying from which the Xtreme takes its design cues. The matt-grey exterior is sharply contrasted by the striking florescent yellow roof and wheel rim inserts, whilst the brawny front bumper, large air intake and 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with heavy duty off-road tyres make this Yeti the most monstrous yet. Practical tweaks include a height adjustable chassis, spare wheel and special traction mats that can be pushed under the wheels to free the Yeti from a sandy grave. Moreover, the Xtreme’s bark certainly matches its bite thanks to the two non-silenced wide tailpipes which unleash a particularly throaty growl.
The rally-styled interior makes use of aluminium pedals, floor panels and door sill plates to emphasise the Xtreme’s more industrial look and also houses several extra WRC-standard accessories such as a belt cutter and fire extinguisher. As if that wasn’t enough, an iPad cradle is integrated into the dashboard whilst a sand shovel is slotted neatly in to the door panel and a first aid kit can be found in the glove box. The cabin also comes equipped with Recaro sports seats, carbon fibre trim plus a ‘Super Sport’ steering wheel with integrated paddle shift.
Release dates and prices for the Yeti Xtreme have yet to be confirmed by Skoda, however, judging by its world premiere at Wörthersee, this Swiss army knife on wheels has the potential to coax out the adventurer in all of us.