Skoda is a brand seriously moving up in the world, and if proof were needed, you had to look no further than the brand’s stand at the Geneva motor show. Front and centre was not some small, affordable economy model but instead a big, brash SUV with a gorgeous six-seat interior (which will become a seven-seater for production), a plugin hybrid drivetrain and a sense of being rather more expensive looking (if not necessarily in price) than what we’ve come to expect from Skoda down the years.
“Our brand continues to develop at a rapid pace,” said Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. “We already have a successful model in the compact SUV segment with the Skoda Yeti; now we are using our expertise in 4×4 technology to develop the new SUV model. In terms of design, package and functionality, the VisionS bears some similarity. This study also demonstrates our most important future technologies, such as the plug-in hybrid drive system; a similar drive system is also being tested for production cars.”
The Skoda VisionS incorporates the brand’s new design language, carrying it over into the SUV segment: the design is clearly influenced by cubism and the tradition of Bohemian crystal glass art. The lines are precise, sharp and clean-cut; the distinctive interplay of light and shadow on the contoured surfaces has a powerful effect, which is accentuated by the Iceland Green colour. Based on Volkswagen Group’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB), this is Skoda’s first vehicle to feature six seats across three rows.
Another highlight of the concept vehicle is its plug-in hybrid drive: with 165 kW (225hp), the show car accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds, and has a top speed of almost 200 km/h. 1.9 l of petrol is all the car needs to travel 100 km (45 g CO2/km). The Skoda VisionS can drive up to 50 km on electric mode alone, and travels up to 1,000 km with both systems combined.
The internal combustion engine is a 1.4 TSI with 115 kW (156hp) and 250 Nm of torque. It works alongside an e-motor that provides 40 kW of continuous power and a peak torque of 220 Nm. The e-motor is integrated with the six-speed DSG, which transfers the power to the front wheels. A second electric engine with up to 85 kW and 270 Nm of torque drives the rear axle. This works independently from the front axle drive, meaning the show car has clever four-wheel drive, which requires no mechanical coupling. The three engines cooperate in a highly flexible manner: the driver of the Skoda VisionS can choose between several modes of operation – from the purely electric engine to chargemode, always with the goal of maximum efficiency. The lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 12.4 kWh is positioned in front of the rear axle.
Skoda has responded to the rapidly growing range of information and the passengers’ desire to communicate by introducing automotive digital networking (mobile services), providing large displays for optimum vehicle and infotainment services for all passengers, who can connect to the network in several ways from each seat in the vehicle.