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Future models - Skoda

Sexier Skodas on the horizon

Czech it out: The Skoda Vision C is a sign of things to come from Skoda, which says it has the green light from parent VW to make its designs more desirable.

Skoda promises sharper design and refutes the notion it is a ‘budget’ brand

Skoda logo6 Mar 2014

By MIKE COSTELLO in GENEVA

SKODA this week spoke out against the notion that is an cheap-and-cheerful entry level European brand, and pledged to use more expressive and exciting design on its future models starting from next year.

The Czech company, part of the Volkswagen Group, revealed a concept car at this week’sGeneva motor show called the Vision C that simultaneously previewed future Skoda design and a potential sporty four-door coupe flagship model.

Speaking with GoAuto this week, Skoda member of the Board of Management for Technical Development Frank Welsch said the slinky and edgy design of the Octavia-based Vision C would carry over to future Skoda road cars, starting with the new-generation Fabia due inside 12 months.

“This is more expression (Vision C design), and this is what we’d like to have in our cars in future… You will definitely see some elements here in the next-generation Fabia, for example. This year and also next year,” he said.

More interestingly, when asked if a potential Vision C road car could be seen as contrary to Skoda’s positioning within the wider Volkswagen Group as an entry-level brand, Dr Welsch refuted the notion that it was a budget marque at all.

“Today in our Superb we have a V6 engine, and we have the RS in Octavia with 162kW and more and more,” he said. “In the next Superb we have more than 200kW.

I don’t think we are the entry brand.

“We have a good ratio between price and what you get for your money, so we will keep that, but it’s not worse to give attractive exterior and interior as well.”

Dr Welsch went on to say that: “We are a separate and owned brand within the VW Group, we look for the car and models that are perfectly fitting within Skoda, and then of course we have to look at the Group and see where it fits within the overall portfolio.

“In the past (the Group) never had any problem with that.”

Skoda’s next step is expected to be an entry into the large SUV market, potentially sharing bits with the mooted Volkswagen BlueSport seven-seater. Dr Welsch said the car would “fit very well” within Skoda, and that it was at the concept stage.

While Dr Welsch stopped short of confirming Skoda would produce the Vision C, he said it would be a good fit as a brand flagship.

“Whether this (Vision C) could actually be a car for Skoda, we’ll have to await reaction from the markets, for now they’re very positive.

“This design (pointing to the Vision C on the show-stand) is not more expensive than having a classical fender and so on, it’s just a question of design.

Dr Welsch said the Vision C was a ‘true’ Skoda that stuck to the brand tenets of being practical and a little left-of-centre.

“Even as a Skoda, it would be a typical Skoda coupe, because it has the fifth door, the big boot and lots of luggage space, and for a coupe lots of headroom… we keep our brand values (or practicality). This is typical, but this is still a show car,” he said.

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