Skoda’s long association with the emergency services in Great Britain and Northern Ireland is continuing with a Karoq that has been professionally converted into a fully-functioning Rapid Response vehicle.
The Czech manufacturer says the medium-sized Sport Utility Vehicle “lends itself perfectly to emergency service conversion” by pointing to its “practical, multi-terrain abilities” and “class-leading space for passengers and essential specialist equipment”.
Launched to coincide with the recently facelifted showroom version, the Rapid Response Karoq sports a Battenberg-coloured livery that is specific to the police, ambulance and fire and rescue services.
Common to all, however, are the LED signal lights that are built into the front screen and grille, the tail-gate and number plate. These are complemented by a 100-amp three tone siren to alert road users to the vehicle’s presence when attending an emergency.
Built in-house by “bespoke converters” around a strengthened chassis to increase the vehicle’s lifespan, each car gets a fully integrated communications platform that works through Skoda’s very own 8-inch central infotainment system.
Emergency services fleets benefit from the inclusion of a luggage compartment with a roll-out tray and a back-up electricity source to power essential equipment at the scene of an incident should this be required.
A choice of three petrol and two diesel engines are available alongside a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The more powerful 2-litre petrol comes with four-wheel-drive as standard, while the 148bhp 2-litre diesel can be requested with front- or all-wheel-drive.
Skoda says the all-wheel drive system “provides confidence and reassurance to emergency services drivers in challenging driving conditions”, and with the use of “an integrated control unit can engage all-wheel drive within fractions of a second when required, enabling blue-light fleets to get to the where they need to be”.
The Karoq joins the Scala hatchback, Octavia vRS and Superb estates, and large Kodiaq SUV in the portfolio of emergency response vehicles that can be adapted by Skoda’s bespoke “one-stop-shop” conversion service. It also sells a custom-made armoured car that offers bullet and ballistic protection.