► Skoda Vision S concept revealed in Geneva
► Previews MQB-based SUV due in late 2016
► Could be called 'Kodiaq'; rivals include XC90
If you're in the market for an SUV with a lot of seats, but haven't seen anything among the relatively limited options to tempt you, you're in luck: Skoda's getting close to rolling out its own three-row SUV.
The new Skoda SUV is expected at the end of 2016 but the company's already taken the wraps off a concept version called the Vision S – shown here in a series of official shots.
Skoda's Vision S concept, which previews what the upcoming production SUV will look like, packs many of the brand's familiar design cues, three rows of seats and 'generous space for six occupants.'
According to the published details the Vision S is about the same size as a Hyundai Santa Fe, and slightly smaller than a Volvo XC90, two of the key players in the seven-seat SUV realm. Other competitors for the production version would include the Audi Q7 and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
What's it powered by?
This is one of the areas in which the Vision S – which, yes, looks a lot like the new Tiguan and Seat Ateca – is a little more interesting. It's powered by a plug-in-hybrid drive system that combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a pair of electric motors. One electric motor is integrated into the car's six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while another electric motor powers the rear axle.
Consequently the Skoda SUV's hybrid powertrain grants it all-wheel drive, and the various power sources can work together to deliver the most appropriate output at the time. The combined output is 221bhp and Skoda claims the Vision S can sprint from 0-62mph in 7.4sec. Its top speed is 124mph and, on paper, it emits 45g/km of CO2 and is reputed to average 149mpg.
The SUV can also travel on electric power alone for a claimed 30 miles, thanks to a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery in front of the rear axle, and it has a range in excess of 600 miles if everything operates at peak efficiency.
What else do I need to know?
Skoda's new SUV will use the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, which will also underpin the aforementioned upcoming second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan and the new Seat Ateca. You can expect it to pack a host of the brand's 'Simply Clever' touches, too, such as in-built umbrellas and useful luggage storage solutions.
No name has been confirmed for the upcoming production model but Skoda has recently trademarked Kodiaq and Aratan. Given that 'Kodiaq' is presumably a play on the Alaskan grizzly bear, and that 'Aratan' is a somewhat obscure Tolkien reference, it seems the former is more likely – but time will tell.
'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 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 Vision S 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.'
Is the new Skoda on sale any time soon?
At the moment it's expected that the production version will make an appearance towards the end of 2016 and go on sale in early 2017. Besides widening its range with an all-new derivative, the launch of its new seven-seat SUV will allow Skoda to ensnare a larger portion of the rapidly expanding and increasingly lucrative SUV market.
Also on Skoda's stand is the new top-of-the-range Octavia RS 4x4, the natural gas-fuelled Octavia G-Tec and the off-road themed 'ScoutLine' range.
Skoda readies four new SUVs: why the Czechs are going crossover crazy
Read more of CAR’s 2016 Geneva motor show coverage here
Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2016 Geneva motor show