Skoda's Electric 'Vision'

Skoda's Electric 'Vision'

SKODA is preparing to reveal an allelectric mid-size coupe-style SUV concept – dubbed Vision E – at the Shanghai motor show later this month as part of the VW-owned Czech brand’s rollout of five pure-electric vehicles by 2025.

Not only is the Vision E the first fully electric vehicle in Skoda’s history, it is the most advanced in terms of autonomous driving ability, meeting Level 3 requirements for self-driving which allows the car to drive and scan the road itself – although it does require assistance from the driver at certain times.

It can operate independently in traffic jams and motorways, stay in its lane and perform overtaking manoeuvres, search for parking spaces and enter and exit those spaces by itself.

The Vision E is powered by a pair of electric motors – one each on the front and rear axle – which gives it a total output of 225kW, with power sent to all four wheels. No torque figure has been specified at this stage.

Skoda says the Vision E has a top speed of 180km/h, and that its lithiumion battery allows for a driving range of up to 500km.

With dimensions of 4645mm long, 1917mm wide and 1550mm tall, the Vision E straddles the medium and large SUV segments, measuring slightly longer but lower than its VW Group sibling, the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Concept sketches released last week show a muscular design with large wheels, a sloping roofline, boxy rear end and a grille-less front fascia, the latter indicative of its status as a pureelectric vehicle.

Headlight and tail-light design follows Skoda’s new styling direction, closely mirroring the range-topping Superb sedan and wagon, while incorporating the Czech ‘crystal glass’ theme with its triangular look.

Skoda says it has created a spacious interior for the Vision E, thanks in part to its 2850mm wheelbase and short overhangs at the front and rear.

The brand has also outlined its plan to release its first pure EV by 2020, which will be expanded to include five fully electric vehicles by 2025.

It also announced that the brand’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle will arrive in 2019, in the form of the Superb.

Exact plug-in hybrid powertrain details are yet to be detailed, however it could share something similar to the VisionS concept shown in Geneva last year.

The VisionS teamed a 115kW 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with twin electric motors – a 40kW/220Nm unit on the front axle and a second 85kW/270Nm motor driving the rear wheels – for a total output of 165kW of power and 740Nm of torque.

Skoda claimed the VisionS could accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds, reach a top speed of “almost 200km/h” and consume just 1.9 litres of fuel per 100km on the official European combined test cycle.

It also offered 50km of electric-only driving, drawing solely on its 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery.

Further details of the Vision E are anticipated when the concept is unveiled in full at the Shanghai motor show, which opens on April 19.

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