Inside Skoda’s electric plan: we drive the Vision iV prototype

Published: 26 September 2019

► We drive three Skoda concepts at night
► Don't expect driving impressions
► But do expect the Vision iV on the road in 2021

The VW Group is speeding towards an electrified future, but brands within the behemoth are all heading for the same sustainable destination in their own way. Volkswagen is going big with its ID range, Porsche and Audi are working to develop more premium EVs, while Seat is also using the MEB platform but adding its own Latin flair. But what of Skoda? We took a trip to pictureque town of Karlovy Vary in Czech, to find out more about the brand’s electric ambitions.

Further electric reading

The electrified concepts

Skoda has shown a few key electric or sustainably-powered concepts over the last 5 years, and we’re driving three of them at night: the Vision iV, the Vision RS and the Vision X. The most relevant of the three is the Vision IV – we’ll explain why later on – but it’s important to remember they’re all concept cars, so you won’t find a proper review or driving impressions here. 

Usually designed to look pretty and drive onto a rotating stage, most concepts aren’t made for actual driving – and especially not for the cobbled streets of Karlovy Vary we’re driving them on. In fact, we’re told the paint used on these concepts isn’t suitable for cold temperatures, either – like those you’d find on a crisp Czech night at around 1am in the morning…

For that reason, this is all low speed stuff – but that’s fine, because we’re not testing these priceless soapboxes, rather discussing the cars which they inform. Besides, with worried-looking Skoda technicans watching our every move, and the clock heading towards the small hours, this wasn't the occasion for a time trial. 

Vision RS

First up is the Vision RS, which later became the Skoda Scala. Envisaged as a hybrid, the concept wears the angular styling of contemporary Skoda’s but charges it up on a vRS fashion. That means 20-inch wheels with carbonfibre fans, a squat, hatchback appearance – and like some recent BMWs, an illuminated grille. 

Vision X

Next up is the Vision X, a concept which has now become the Skoda Kamiq. Designed to slot alongside the Kodiaq and the Karoq, the Kamiq is Skoda’s small-crossover – an important car in a growing sector, and one it thinks will really move the needle. 

Of course, the car we’re driving represents the early bold brushstrokes of the production car, but like the Vision RS, Skoda envisaged it as a electrified car when it hit production. The only issue? Neither the Vision X or the RS’ platforms can accept hybrid power – which is curious. 

Vision iV

The Vision iV represents the true preview to Skoda’s electric plans, as it’s the only car here that will make it to the roads as an all-electric vehicle. It’s based on the same, flexible MEB skateboard powering Wolfsburg’s ID range, but high shoulders, and a chunky, sporty rear make it look almost Tesla Model X-ish from the side.

Of course, these looks will change when the production car is revealed next year, but not by much: we’re told the model you see here is 90% ready. We’d gather that remaining 10% is most likely in the futuristic, concept-style interior, and the rather ornate lights – always a place these concepts seem to go overboard. 

Being a concept car, we don’t have any driving impressions or performance figures, but Skoda reckons the iV will be able to hit 0-62mph from a standstill in around 6.0 seconds. 

Skoda is calling this a ‘four-door crossover coupe’, and when the Vision iV order books open in 2021, customers will be able to choose between Sportback and standard-style SUV options.

We’ll update this article when we know more about Skoda’s electric plans.

Further electric car reading

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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