Skoda planning range of hot all-electric eRS models

Styling additions and better handling will mark out new Skoda eRS models, and our exclusive images preview how the first model could look

Skoda’s history of producing hot RS versions of its mainstream models will spread into its future electric vehicles, Auto Express can reveal.

Skoda’s first all-electric car will be a production version of the Vision E concept revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and due on sale at the end of 2020. It’ll be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric car platform, which will first appear on the VW I.D. hatchback. Skoda’s board member for sales and marketing, Alain Favey, told us: “There will be electric versions of vRS – eRS.

• Skoda Vision E concept review

“The logic is the same – it’s not about performance as such. Our most powerful engine is 245bhp so by any stretch of imagination we’re not talking about challenging Ferrari.”

However, Favey confirmed that Skoda will only offer its EV with one battery output, hinting that the eRS version will focus on handling and cosmetic enhancements rather than performance.

“It’s about the look, it’s about the sporty feeling when you’re driving the car, it’s about the seats, it’s about the experience and I think that’s what our customers like,” Favey added. “It’s about the experience and that’s something we can do very well in our future electric cars. Definitely we will have RS versions of our electric cars – it’s part of our brand.”

The unnamed production EV, previewed by our exclusive images, is expected to look very much like the Vision E concept, with Favey saying: “Vision E will give you a good idea of what our electric car will look like.”

He also confirmed it will have a range of more than 300 miles, adding: “If it doesn’t have a range of 300 miles we shouldn’t come to the market.”

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The new EV will have a premium price as well, with Favey saying that he expected it to match up with more expensive Kodiaq models, meaning a starting price around the £30,000 mark.

The Vision E-based model won’t be the only electric car to arrive in the early 2020s, though. Further MEB-based models are expected, including a hatchback that should sit alongside Skoda’s new Golf-sized hatch that’s due to launch late next year. That new model replaces the Rapid, but moves it up a size and will take a different name. Don’t expect to see Skoda’s EV hatchback until around 2022, though.

Skoda’s dealers will be gearing up for the new EV launches with an all-electric version of the Citigo, due for launch late next year. “We have two years to improve the competence of our dealer network [in relation to EVs],” said Favey.

The Citigo-E is likely to offer a range of more than 100 miles and undercut its Volkswagen e-up! equivalent with a price starting at around £20,000 after the Government grant is applied.

Favey is also expecting dealers to offer customers high-speed charging, referring to that as a business opportunity. Skoda dealers are expected to go through a bit of a digital revolution over the next 12 months with more in-showroom tech and online sales. “We want to take ‘Simply Clever’ into the showroom,” Favey said.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of life in the vRS brand, too, with Favey hinting that a vRS version of the next Fabia, which is due in 2021, is on the cards. “We’re working on different options including a vRS,” he told us.

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