New Skoda Vision X concept debut in GenevaMarch 6, 2018
This is the Skoda Vision X, a Geneva Motor Show concept that previews a new small crossover from the Czech brand, to rival the likes of the SEAT Arona and VW T-Roc.
The show car also uses compressed natural gas (CNG) as a potentially cleaner fuel and features a mild-hybrid powertrain designed to offer four-wheel drive and limited pure-electric running.
The Vision X – which is expected to reach production in 2019 and could carry the badge Amiq or Anuq – is more of a crossover than an SUV. It’s 4,250mm long and 1,800mm wide – longer and wider than both of its ‘sister’ VW Group cars, the T-Roc and Arona. But the Skoda’s roofline is also significantly lower than both of those vehicles’.
Significantly, though, the Vision X’s wheelbase is 2,645mm – 55mm up on a T-Roc’s and a full 80mm clear of an Arona’s – because Skoda wants its smallest SUV to deliver family car practicality that’s still a relative rarity in this style-focused class. To achieve this, it’s basing the production car not on the supermini-length iteration of the VW Group’s MQB A0 platform, but instead on the longer version that will also see use in the next generation of Rapid.
That longer wheelbase is clearly evident in the design, which eschews a totally floating roof to make better use of Skoda’s distinctive ‘kick’ around the C-pillar. The front mixes up the firm’s current SUV design language by placing the daytime running lights (which also deliver animated indicator signals) sitting above the larger headlights below.
The cabin is being kept under wraps for now but we know from sketches that it will feature a ‘floating’ widescreen infotainment system.
The Vision X has a 1.5-litre petrol engine that’s engineered to run on CNG. But it also features cutting-edge 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrains at both ends – a modest starter-generator that offers a boost to the engine, and a more potent 27bhp/70Nm electric motor at the rear axle that can either drive the car short distances on pure-electric power, or join forces with the combustion engine to deliver four-wheel drive.
The back motor can also be disconnected completely, allowing the car to run as front-wheel drive and only intervening to recuperate energy when coasting downhill or braking. This electricity is then fed back into a battery pack, mounted below the front seats, that powers both the front and rear motors.
The powertrain is viable from 2020, according to Skoda, with the entire range likely to get a gas solution.
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