Friday, 19 June 2020 10:24

‘Czech’ out Skoda’s latest SUV

Written by  Mark Daniel
The newest member of Skoda’s SUV family – the Kamiq. The newest member of Skoda’s SUV family – the Kamiq.

Skoda has released the newest member of its SUV family – the Skoda Kamiq – to enter the rapidly growing compact SUV segment.

The all-new Kamiq bears an upright radiator grille with distinctive double slats on its wide front section, with a prominent front spoiler and other add-on parts such as the rear diffuser to accentuate the overall impression. 

From the side, it looks rugged thanks to its distinctive tornado line, defined surfaces and roof rails, while the Monte Carlo model is fitted with a panoramic roof and gloss-black roof rails to bolster the bold appearance further.

The interior of the vehicle is spacious, offering the driver and front passenger 1,051mm of headroom and 1,439mm of elbow room – with rear seat passengers getting 1,003mm of headroom, 1425mm of elbow room and 73mm kneeroom. The boot capacity is 400L, but climbs to 1,395L with the 60:40 split backrests folded down, as well as delivering an extra 26L of stowage space via clever interior compartments.

Two TSI petrol engines are available, with The Ambition 85kW TSI and the Ambition + and Monte Carlo 110kW TSI with cylinder capacities of 1.0 or 1.5L, all mated with a 7-speed DSG transmission.

It uses a new chassis that combines the advantages of an SUV with the driving characteristics of a compact car. In comparison to the ŠKODA SCALA, which uses the same platform, the KAMIQ has longer springs and shock absorbers, a stiffer stabiliser for the front axle, a reinforced rear axle, larger wheels and power steering with a different gear ratio. This raises ground clearance by 39mm – 10mm of which stems from the larger cross section tyres to deliver a total ground clearance of 188mm.

The KAMIQ features Lane Assist, Front Assist including City Emergency Brake, Driver Fatigue Alert, and Cruise Control as standard. Using a camera, Lane Assist recognises road markings and helps the driver to stay in lane, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake lends a hand by preventing or reducing the severity of a collision with pedestrians or cyclists. 

The Driver Fatigue Alert system recognises a reduction in the driver’s concentration and recommends a break from driving. 

The optional, automatic door-edge protection is unique to the compact SUV segment, while an electric tailgate includes a Tap-To-Close function is also available. 

As with the rest of the Skoda SUV range, the umbrella compartment (including umbrella) is in the driver’s door, ice scraper in the fuel filler flap with a tyre tread depth gauge and the integrated funnel in the lid of the windscreen washer tank are all standard equipment.

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Lely offerings for the future

Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.

Designed to connect data from a range of on-farm equipment and suppliers into one management system, it creates a real-time decision-support platform, to make the farmer’s life easier, the herd healthier and the farm more profitable, says Lely.

Developed over a 24-month period, with over 100 test farmers in seven countries, working with 75 engineers, designers, farm management advisors, veterinarians and AI specialists, the new application will eventually replace the current Lely T4C management system. It uses smart algorithms and the cloud to deliver data that is processed into actionable information that is always accessible on any device in a user-friendly way.

Lely claims the Horizon application unburdens farmers from routine decision making and helps them optimise their workloads, using integrated routines based on easily scheduled cow ‘touches’, create logical and more efficient workflows. It is also possible to assign a certain task to an employee and to schedule a time slot for the cow touch, rather than analysing different reports and filtering long lists.

Horizon is also able to connect and combine data from non-Lely sources into a complete solution for the farmer removing the need to enter the same data twice, while scrutinising individual data streams in different applications will no longer be necessary. Currently, connections with farming applications such as Dairy Comp, Uniform-Agri, CRV and Herde already enable farmers to synchronise information about calving and inseminations between applications. Lely’s ambition is to connect with more partners over time, to hand the farmer more smart data.

To ensure full support in the migration to Lely Horizon, existing Lely T4C customers will be personally informed by their Lely Center before the end of 2020.

The migration is planned in a phased approach, from country to country, over the year 2021.

Also launched at the event, Lely Exos is an autonomous concept for harvesting and feeding fresh grass to the herd.

The company suggests that feeding fresh grass makes better use of available roughage, suggesting “fresh” has between 10 and 20% more nutritional value than grass silage, as there are minimal losses typically seen during mowing, tedding, raking, harvesting and feeding.

Lely suggests that feeding fresh grass over an extended season reduces the amount of silage that has to be conserved, reduces the need for concentrates and bought-in feed and increase the margin made on each litre of milk produced.

Based around an all-electric vehicle that mows and feeds, Exos is light weight and uses soil friendly technology, that can be exploited throughout the growing season. Design to work 24/7 as feed requirements change, the system places no constraints on labour or time, while it is also designed to work in tandem with the Lely Vector automatic feeding systems.

In operation, Exos also collects field data as it goes about its job, giving framers live data on grass supply and lending itself to a further concept of delivering a targeted liquid fertiliser as it passes over a harvested area.

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Dairy goat milk processors, looking to increase their supplier numbers, are helping to drive interest among farmers in New Zealand’s growing goat milk industry.

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The total number of TB-infected herds in Hawke’s Bay has risen to 20, following the recent reclassification of a new herd in the Waitara Valley.

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