New Skoda Vision E concept review
Skoda's Vision E concept previews the brand's forthcoming all-electric production car, and we've driven it
The Vision E concept car, show at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, previews how the important new model will look. It’s the first all-electric concept car for the brand, and we’ve driven it.
Head of exterior design Karl Neuhold told us to look back at the Vision S and Vision C concept cars of the past, and the Superb and Kodiaq that they hinted at - that gives us an idea of how close this is to the eventual production car.
It won’t be far off, then, and after our drive we’re keen to see the real thing. The sharp Skoda lines in the bodywork are all present, along with distinctive signature light shapes - and even though there’s no grille, the front-end is clearly a Skoda.
It’s completely different on the inside, however, and here is where the concept car madness creeps in. Four individual free-standing chairs are fitted to a wooden floor, surrounded by crystals and lattice-effect trim.
Car group tests
- Abarth Punto vs Corsa SRi
- Jaguar XE 300 Sport vs Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce
- Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs Jaguar F-Pace
- Alpina XD3 Biturbo vs Porsche Macan S Diesel
- BMW M2 CS vs Porsche 718 Cayman GTS vs Alpine A110 S
- Audi TTS vs Alpine A110 vs Porsche 718 Cayman
- Ariel Nomad
- Aston Martin DB11 AMR vs Bentley Continental GT
- Aston Martin Vantage vs Porsche 911 GTS
- BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90
- Abarth 124 Spider (2016-2019) review
- Abarth Punto (2008-2015) review
- Alfa Romeo Giulia review
- Alfa Romeo Stelvio review
- Alfa Romeo 4C (2014-2019) review
- Ford Puma ST-Line: long-term test review
- Honda e: long-term test review
- Renault Clio Iconic: long-term test review
- SEAT Mii electric: long-term test review
- New Aston Martin Vantage Roadster 2020 review
- New Callum Vanquish review
- New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
- New BMW 128ti prototype review
- New Caterham Super Seven 1600 2020 review
- Chevrolet Corvette Stingray review
- New Cupra Formentor 2020 review
- New Dacia Sandero 2021 review
- New Dacia Duster Bi-Fuel 2020 review
Used car tests
- Used Alfa Romeo Giulia review
- Used Bentley Bentayga review
- Used Bentley Continental GT review
- Used BMW 7 Series review
- Used DS 5 review
- Ferrari 348: Buying guide and review (1989-1994)
- Ferrari F40: Buying guide and review (1987-1992)
- Ferrari Mondial: Buying guide and review (1980-1993)
- Used Fiat 500 review
- Used Fiat 124 Spider review
There are also four main infotainment screens in what Neuhold calls “equal democracy” - everyone has their own system. “I think [the interior] has a ‘loft’ feeling,” Neuhold tells us, referring to the style of modern loft flats.
While our short indoor drive doesn’t tell us anything about the driving dynamics of the upcoming Vision E, the electric powertrain is novel for a Skoda and if the brand can recreate the spacious feel inside it will be something special.
The infotainment systems in the concept are dummy units only for show, but Skoda says the theoretical system will be controlled via gestures and voice control. There’s eye-tracking tech to help warn a distracted driver and even a heart-rate monitor to prevent accidents following a health problem. Finally there’s a slot for your phone on the door, and you can control functions like air-con or entertainment using a dedicated app.
The electric motor felt as punchy as we’ve come to expect from units in other EVs, though the 302bhp power output that Skoda claims wasn’t exactly within reach. It does hint that the production car will be pretty powerful, especially compared to traditionally-powered cars of the same size.
Autonomous tech isn’t the most useful inside a warehouse, but Skoda says the car will be capable of level three autonomous driving, which means it can sit in lane on the motorway and park itself safely.
Skoda claims it has a range of 500km and can be charged up inductively - using a pad on the floor, with no wires required - up to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.
Those stats prove that Skoda is planning to offer its electric car with the kind of usability that we expect from the rest of its range - and that’s reflected in the fact that Skoda isn’t planning a sub-brand for its EVs. That’s unlike Volkswagen, which will use the I.D. branding for its first batch of electric cars.
Are you excited by Skoda's move to electrification? Let us know below...