The Skoda Vision E concept typifies the zeitgeist of today's automotive industry: it's an electric coupé-SUV.
The Vision E’s styling is bold, although Skoda designer Karl Neuman can’t say how much of the look will be carried over to the production model. Insiders say that the full look probably will make it, although experience tell us that features such as the two full-width light bars at the front and cameras instead of wingmirrors probably won't.
The former has a chance, though; “light is the new chrome,” says Neuman, and Skoda does have a track record with concepts closely matching their production counterparts; see the Vision S and the Kodiaq.
Skoda’s product management boss, Guido Haak, has his eye on Tesla. Namely, the Model 3, which, as promised by the charismatic face and head of the American company, Elon Musk, has delivered on target its headline-grabbing $35,000 entry-level price tag.
Haak is not impressed. He describes the Model 3’s price and 310-mile range as 'vanilla', and insists that Skoda’s EV will have a broad range of talents, including being fun to drive, long of range and low in price. As it's a concept, the Vision E isn't road-ready, which is par for the course, as is its Model 3-matching 310km range, 301bhp and 112mph top speed, driven through two electric motors. But over the 200-metre, 15kph-max drive, it proved itself to be a convincing, if ambitious, plan.
Amusing though the figures are, they’re for a car which was only really meant to be gawped at on a motor show stand. It's a solid foundation upon which Skoda can pin its future.
The seating position is spot on; the pedals and seat, which all sprout out of a wood-veneer-finished, immaculately spotless and smooth floor, give that typically commanding SUV height, while the steering communicates the imperfections in the road surface adequately. Although admittedly on this drive, those imperfections were mere lines in an otherwise smooth, flat warehouse floor.