Skoda’s styling is getting sharper with each new production model or concept and the new Vision X unveiled today at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show is a prime example of the company’s design direction. Typical for a showcar, the vehicle sits on large (20-inch) wheels and comes with hidden door handles to enable a sleeker side profile. The avant-garde interior is also exactly what you’d expect from a concept, with an uncluttered layout boasting a large screen on the center console incorporating most of the controls.
Essentially a preview of a subcompact crossover bound to slot underneath the Karoq, the concept has the jack of all trades when it comes to powertrain as it can run on gasoline, compressed natural gas, and in pure electric mode. Its heart and soul is the Volkswagen Group’s now familiar 1.5-liter unit, but instead of being labeled “TSI” it’s now called G-TEC as the rest of the (few) engines from Skoda that can run on CNG.
When it runs on CNG, the powertrain is rated at 130 hp (96 kW) and 200 Nm (147 lb-ft) of torque, which isn’t necessarily impressive, but it should suffice for city use. The compressed natural gas is found in two tanks, one underneath the rear seat and the other positioned behind the rear axle. It’s important to mention the latter only kicks in only when the vehicle needs more power and when traction is low.
The Vision X concept’s intricate powertrain also consists of two electric motors: one acts as the belt-driven starter generator of the 1.5-liter engine while the other is a separate motor with 70 Nm (51 lb-ft) of instant torque positioned on the rear axle working together with a lithium-ion battery. The latter can be recharged via brake energy recovery and then the recuperated energy can be put to good use whenever necessary.
Depending on what you need, the Vision X can be front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive, and with as much as 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft) of torque, which is pretty impressive considering this is after all, a Skoda. Performance is not what you would call mind-blowing, with the sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) taking 9.3 seconds and the top speed of just 124 mph (200 kph). Total range is pretty much on a par with a conventional gasoline-powered model, at up to 404 miles (650 kilometers) while CO2 emissions stand at a very low 89 g/km. If by any chance you run out of juice, there’s an electric skateboard in the trunk “for the last mile.”
Besides unveiling the Vision X, the Czech marque is also showcasing in Geneva the facelifted Fabia, Kodiaq Laurin & Klement, and slightly updated versions of the Octavia (with digital instrument cluster) and Superb (with new engines and digital cockpit.)
Gallery: Skoda Vision X at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
WORLD PREMIERE IN GENEVA: ŠKODA VISION X STUDY COMBINES CNG, PETROL AND ELECTRIC DRIVE
› ŠKODA VISION X is the first hybrid vehicle in ŠKODA’s history with natural gas, petrol and electric drive
› CO2 emissions of only 89 g/km
› ŠKODA’s first all-wheel drive without cardan shaft
Mladá Boleslav, 28 February 2018 – ŠKODA AUTO looks into the future of the automotive world at the Geneva Motor Show 2018 (6 – 18 March). The Czech automobile manufacturer is presenting a vehicle with CNG, petrol and electric drive for the first time. In addition to the further developed SUV design language, the ŠKODA VISION X also features a newly configured hybrid system. The particularly sustainable drive concept with a CNG/electric engine combination ensures spontaneous power delivery, increased agility and low CO2 emissions of only 89 g/km. The VISION X drives with front, rear or four-wheel drive as needed.
“At ŠKODA AUTO, the developments and preparations for the mobility of tomorrow are in full swing,” says Christian Strube, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development. “With the ŠKODA VISION X hybrid study, we offer an outlook on the further development of our model range. CNG vehicles are clean and inexpensive. Moreover, with the hybrid, our customers can experience zero-emission driving.”
The particularly sustainable drive concept of the FlexGreen-painted urban crossover study features an impressive combination of a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and petrol-powered drivetrain and two electric motors. The new technology keeps CO2 emissions low at only 89 g/km.
The internal combustion engine is a 1.5-litre TSI G-TEC four-cylinder turbocharged engine specifically designed for use with CNG (compressed natural gas). The CNG drive produces a maximum output of 96 kW (130 hp) and a maximum torque of 250 Nm. One CNG tank is located under the rear seat; the second behind the rear axle. The CNG unit drives the front axle; an electric motor drives the rear axle. This is activated as needed – to engage additional power when starting (boost effect) or to improve the traction on smooth surfaces and off-road. The capacity of the compact energy storage unit for the electric motor is sufficient to drive the concept study over a distance of up to two kilometres on electric power alone.
The VISION X is ŠKODA’s first all-wheel-drive vehicle without a cardan shaft. This has clear benefits: Lower weight automatically means less consumption. In addition, the electric motor only starts when needed. Two electric motors support the CNG drive. The four-wheel drive consist of the combustion engine equipped with one of the two electric motors – a belt-driven starter-generator (BSG) and the second electric motor on the rear axle, powered by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery system. Thanks to recuperation, the lithium-ion battery charges while driving: During braking and rolling, the VISION X converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and uses this energy later for driving. The maximum torque of 70 Nm is available from standstill, noticeably intensifying the spontaneity when starting and the agility in short bursts of speed. The advantages of the rechargeable batteries include low weight, higher capacity and affordable price.
The study drives with front, rear or four-wheel drive as needed. The rear-wheel-drive brings 1000 Nm to the road, and the model has a range of up to 650 kilometres thanks to the additional petrol reserve tank.
The system performance of the two drive units enables the ŠKODA VISION X to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.3 seconds, with a top speed of 200 km/h.
Electro-mobility plays a crucial role in ŠKODA AUTO’s global growth strategy. The electrification of ŠKODA’s model range will start in 2019 with the introduction of the ŠKODA SUPERB with plug-in hybrid drive. In addition to the production of electric cars, the plant in Mladá Boleslav will also be producing electrical components for the plug-in hybrid models of several Volkswagen Group brands from 2019 onwards. The first fully electric ŠKODA production vehicle will follow shortly afterwards. By 2025, the brand will have expanded its range of hybrid and battery-powered models in various segments.