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Geneva show: Skoda Vision C sees flagship coupe

Czech mate: Skoda's Vision C concept could pave the way for a Superb replacement.

Octavia-based five-door ‘CC’ to broaden Skoda’s model portfolio from 2016

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Skoda logo5 Mar 2014

CZECH car-maker Skoda is seeking to push into new segment niches with the upcoming production version of the Vision C concept due to surface in about two years’ time.

Unveiled overnight at the Geneva motor show, the five-door coupe previews a new flagship model in the vein of the Volkswagen CC, and may even serve as a partial replacement for the ageing Superb liftback.

It also gives form to the company’s next-generation design language, which steps up a gear in terms of modernity and desirability.

The first production model with the Vision C concept’s bold new look is set to be the 2015 Fabia, which is expected to debut at the Paris motor show in October.

“Greater priority is being placed on design, proving the emotional charisma and power of the brand,” said Skoda global CEO Winfried Vahland.

“(It) shows off the company‘s outstanding design and engineering skills while highlighting the dynamism and importance of one of the longest-established vehicle brands.

“Over the coming years we intend to grow with the launch of ever more sophisticated cars and consolidate our position as an international high-volume manufacturer.”

Skoda chief designer Jozef Kaban said the the Vision C mixes light contours with concave and convex surfaces, backed up by sharp lines.

“Surfaces and proportions convince with a clear structure, the interplay of light and shade is crisp, the edges are clearly defined. Avoiding all ornament and frills is essential,” he said.

The show car’s nose introduces a wide grille and headlights tapering into a triangular form, with the company logo given added prominence to imbue Skoda with a considerably more modern face.

Short overhangs, a low-lying windscreen and a high ‘tornado line’ further push the Vision C’s uncluttered design agenda, while angular boomerang-shaped tail-lights reflect the triangular forms up front.

The production version will employ a variation of the latest Volkswagen Golf’s MQB-A architecture, meaning that the engine will be mounted transversely, MacPherson struts will feature up front, while the rear suspension will be either a torsion beam or a multi-link arrangement.

The Geneva show car is also an excuse for the Volkswagen Group to wheel out its latest compressed natural gas (CNG) thinking.

Aided by excellent aerodynamics (just 0.26Cd) and advanced – though expensive – lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre, aluminium and extra-light hot-formed steel, the Vision C’s 81kW 1.4-litre TSI direct-injection turbo four-cylinder CNG engine is capable of reaching 214km/h.

The upshot is exceptionally low emissions, corresponding to just 91 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide pollution.

“Here Skoda shows that even attractive mid-range vehicles with conventional drive technologies can achieve ambitious CO2 values,” the company said.

The Vision C’s four-seater cabin, too, is a glimpse into tomorrow’s Czech ‘Volkswagens’, with further interplay of convex and concave surfaces, more “precise lines” and a welcome increase in the use of higher-quality material and trim.

Among the items that probably will not make the transition from show car to showroom are the fully programmable combined 3D instrumentation displays, though the touch-sensitive multimedia screen is chance for production.

In fact, every occupant is privy to his or her own personal foldaway displays.

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