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Shanghai show: Skoda previews electric future

Sketchy concept: The Skoda Vision E sketches showcase the design direction of the brand, with the ‘crystal glass’ design evident in the headlight and tail-light design.

Skoda teases mid-size all-electric Vision E SUV coupe ahead of Shanghai show

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Skoda logo30 Mar 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

SKODA has teased a new all-electric mid-size SUV coupe concept – dubbed Vision E – ahead of its public debut at the Shanghai motor show in April, as part of the brand’s rollout of five pure EVs by 2025.

Not only is the Vision E the first fully electric vehicle in Skoda’s history, it is the most advanced in terms of autonomous driving ability, meeting the level three requirements for self-driving which allows the car to drive and scan the road itself, but it does require assistance from the driver at certain times.

It can operate independently in traffic jams and motorways, stay in its lane and perform overtaking manoeuvres, search for parking spaces and enter and exit those spaces by itself.

The Vision E is powered by a pair of electric motors on the front and rear axles that give it a total output of 225kW, with power sent to all four wheels.

No torque figure has been specified, however the VisionS SUV plug-in hybrid concept from last year’s Geneva show used two electric motors with a combined output of 125kW/490Nm.

The Vision E has a top speed of 180km/h, and its lithium-ion batteries allow for a driving range of up to 500km.

With dimensions of 4645mm long, 1917mm wide and 1550mm tall, the Vision E sits somewhere between the medium and large SUV segments, measuring slightly longer but lower than its VW Group sibling, the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Concept sketches show a muscular design with large wheels, a sloping roofline, boxy rear end and a grille-less front fascia, indicative of its status as a pure electric vehicle.

Headlight and tail-light design follows Skoda’s new design direction, closely mirroring the design of the range-topping Superb sedan and wagon, while incorporating the Czech ‘crystal glass’ theme with its triangular look.

Skoda says it has created a spacious interior for the Vision E thanks in part to its 2850mm wheelbase and short overhangs at the front and rear.

The brand has also outlined its plan to release its first pure EV by 2020, which will be expanded to include five fully electric vehicles by 2025.

It also announced that the brand’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle will arrive in 2019, in the form of the Superb.

Exact plug-in hybrid powertrain details are yet to be detailed, however it could share something similar to the VisionS concept, which teamed a 1.4-litre petrol engine to the twin electric motors for an output of 165kW of power and a monstrous 740Nm of torque.

Realistically, a production version would have a lower torque output than the concept.

The Vision E will be revealed when the Shanghai motor show starts on April 19.

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