Skoda has been providing a glimpse of its SUV future at this week’s Geneva Motor Show with the VisionS concept car. The VisionS shows the direction the company will adopt with a new SUV which it will slot into its range above the Yeti later this year.
Besides Skoda’s SUV design language, the show car reveals the most important technological innovations that the company will be placing an emphasis on in the coming years.
“Our brand continues to develop at a rapid pace,” said Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. “With the Yeti, Skoda has already made a big statement in the compact SUV segment. Our extensive 4×4 expertise is now feeding into an SUV production model above the Yeti. In terms of design, overall package and everyday practicality, the Skoda VisionS already provides an insight into our new SUV. The show car also exhibits a variety of future technological advances that are becoming more and more important to our customers and therefore to Skoda. This is why we are also working on areas such as electromobility, automated driving and the comprehensive networking of car, driver and passengers with their environment.”
The VisionS show car features plug-in hybrid drive, a drive system similar to those that will be used in future production cars. Furthermore, Skoda is also working on a purely electric drive system.
With a length of 4.70 metres, a 2.79-metre wheelbase, a width of 1.91 metres and a height of 1.68 metres, the Skoda VisionS is based on Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix (MQB), this is the first Skoda with six seats spread over three rows. Depending on the position of the seats, the boot has a capacity of up to 460 litres, and ‘Simply Clever’ features such as bag hooks.
“The VisionS is designed in an expressive, attractive and dynamic way; the design has a balance – typical for Skoda – of rationality and aesthetics,” said Skoda Head of Design Jozef Kabaň. “The lines of the Skoda VisionS have evidently been inspired by the tradition of Bohemian crystal glass art and a touch of cubism: all sections are precise, sharp and clean-cut. On the strikingly contoured surfaces, the distinctive play of light and shade creates strong effects that are emphasised even further by the colour Iceland Green.”
Skoda says it is working at full speed to launch electric production cars: in future, a plug-in-hybrid engine will be available, followed shortly afterwards by a purely electrically powered engine. The Skoda VisionS provides a glimpse into that electric future: with a power output of 165 kW (222 BHP), the show car accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 MPH) in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of almost 200 km/h (124 MPH). CO2 emissions are reported to be 45 g/km. The VisionS is designed to cover up to 50 km (about 30 miles) on electric mode alone, and travels up to 1,000 km (about 600 miles) with both systems combined.
The petrol engine is a 1.4 TSI with 115 kW (154 BHP) and 184 lb ft of torque. It works alongside an e-motor that provides 40 kW of continuous power and a peak torque of 162 lb ft. It is integrated with the engine’s six-speed DSG which transfers the power to the front wheels. A second electric motor with up to 85 kW and 199 lb ft of torque drives the rear axle. It works independently from the front-wheel drive, meaning the show car has clever four-wheel drive, which requires no mechanical coupling.
An intelligent management system controls integration of engine and both motors – always aiming for maximum efficiency. The driver of the Skoda VisionS can choose between five different operating modes, ranging from purely Electric up to Charge mode. Recharging is possible both whilst driving and when stationary.
A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, storing 12.4 kWh of energy, is mounted in the crash protection area in front of the rear axle. It contributes to the favourable weight distribution between front and rear axles and to the low centre of gravity of the Skoda VisionS. Stationary recharging is carried out using a socket.
The VisionS concepts also points to future priorities in terms of connectivity: in addition to an individual display and headphones, every passenger has a smartphone compartment with SmartLink function as well as inductive charging at their disposal. Using the car network, all Skoda VisionS passengers can send data – such as route suggestions or playlists – to the driver and communicate with each other at their convenience. The internet connection uses the fast LTE standard; the passengers’ mobile devices are connected through a WLAN hotspot.