The Geneva concept’s innovative natural gas powertrain is designed to bring focus to the way increasingly tightening regulations on CO2 emissions in the European Union are set. At the moment, CO2 emissions of a car are determined purely by its exhaust output; this doesn’t take into account ‘well to wheel’ calculations of CO2 created during the production of energy.
The CNG hybrid system in the Vision X features a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that runs on CNG and drives the front axle with 129bhp and 184lb ft of torque. The engine is supported by two electric motors: a belt-driven starter-generator that also powers the front axle, with a second 27bhp electric motor on the rear axle. That motor offers 52lb ft of torque from standstill, although the use of a gearbox allows it to bring 737lb ft to the road.
The system is front-wheel drive as standard and offers four-wheel drive when needed, using the rear electric motor for acceleration or traction. It is also capable of running for around 2km in electric-only rear-wheel drive. The powertrain has a 0-62mph time of 9.3sec, with a top speed of 125mph and a claimed CO2 output of 89g/km.
The CNG is housed in two tanks, one under the rear seat and one behind the rear axle. The electric motor is powered by a 48V, 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery – recharged under braking – that Skoda says was chosen to balance extra weight and energy storage.
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There is also a reserve petrol tank, largely to ensure the powertrain will start in very cold weather, that gives the concept a total range of around 400 miles.
The system has already been tested in a converted Karoq. Martin Hrdlicka, Skoda’s head of powertrains, said the decision to use the CNG hybrid system on the Vision X was, in part, to showcase a way to effectively bring four-wheel drive to smaller vehicles. “Four-wheel-drive machines make up 10% of Skoda sales. There’s no 4WD in the entry-level A segment, so this can help us offer a car of that size with four-wheel drive.
“It would also suit a car the size of the Karoq. You lose a little boot space, but we put the bottles and the battery in the space provided for the spare wheel, so it’s only a small reduction.”
Skoda Vision X design
While officially a design study for an 'urban' compact crossover, the exterior of the Vision X gives heavy hints at what the production version of Skoda’s upcoming compact crossover will look like. The front of the car – in particular the grille (although on the Vision X it is made from a single piece of glass) and ‘power dome’ on the bonnet – echoes the Karoq and Kodiaq.