Skoda’s coming of age before our eyes

Skoda is in attendance at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The Czech automaker typically sits in the shadows in an event this big, but the company’s now looking for a bigger piece of the spotlight, and it might have the car to get the job done. It’s called the Skoda Vision X, and it has sharp styling, a plush interior, and is loaded to the brim with state-of-the-art technology.

Skoda Vision X Exterior

2018 Skoda Vision X Exterior
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It has a modern look that isn’t too outlandish

Give Skoda credit for not settling with just a run-of-the-mill concept. The Czech automaker worked hard on the Vision X Concept, and it looks like all that hard work has paid off. The styling of the Vision X Concept is top-class. It has a modern look that isn’t too outlandish. The tiered headlamps setup is a nice nod to a growing trend in the auto industry. The front grille gives off a sporty vibe, and the edgy front bumper and lip spoiler come together to give the Vision X’s front section a naturally aggressive look.

Skoda also nailed the side profile of the concept crossover. The body lines are large and noticeable. The shoulder line, in particular, extends the whole length of the model, touching both the headlamps and taillights. The roof also slopes down subtly towards the rear, extending into the rear spoiler to create a nice little overhang at the back. The 20-inch wheels are massive, as is usually the case for concepts that want to magnify their aggressive stances.

Move to the rear section, and you’ll see some nice qualities too. The design is well-balanced, though it does sit a little too high to the point that it compromises visibility for the driver. But it’s a concept, so it shouldn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. The massive diffuser at the bottom does stand out.

Aesthetically, the Skoda Vision X Concept is a solid follow-up to last year’s Vision E Concept.

Skoda Vision X Interior

2018 Skoda Vision X Interior
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In typical concept car fashion, the interior of the Skoda Vision X is an ode to the future

In typical concept car fashion, the interior of the Skoda Vision X is an ode to the future. While it’s not as over-the-top as the interior of the Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Concept, it is leaps and bounds ahead of what current Skodas have to offer.

The dashboard looms large in the cabin. Its layered look gives Skoda room to adopt a multi-layered, multi-colored look. Right smack in the middle of it is a floating infotainment display that houses a significant amount of the concept’s tech features. Just below it is a center console that comes with a polished glass surface. Skoda also used breathable fabrics, artificial leather, and rubber surfaces in the interior to help hammer home the point of the cabin’s sportiness. Turn your attention to the seats, and you’ll notice how weird they look. They look sporty enough to be used in today’s performance cars, but they would look a little out of place in a Skoda. That said, there’s a reason for the seat’s design, which you’ll find out in a minute.

2018 Skoda Vision X Interior
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As fanciful as the interior aesthetic is, the real signature elements of this section involve all of the technological innovations that Skoda is touting

As fanciful as the interior aesthetic is, the real signature elements of this section involve all of the technological innovations that Skoda is touting, including digital services like Smart Parking, HoppyGo, TwoGo, and CareDriver.

Smart Parking, for example, is as it’s described. It’s making function is to help direct the driver to available parking spaces in his vicinity. HoppyGo and TwoGo are similar technologies, in large part because they can be used to either offer the car for rental when it’s not needed or, in the case of the TwoGo tech, offer car-sharing opportunities. Then there’s CareDriver, which Skoda describes as a tool that ensures that “children are picked up from the nursery if their parent or guardian cannot make it on time.” I’m not sure how that’s going to work without the car having proper identification, but I’ll take Skoda’s word for it.

For those interested, the interior does have one more feature up its sleeve. It’s called the “Simply Clever” concept, and it was included as a sustainable way to stow a pair of electric skateboards. According to Skoda, the trunk of the concept has special anchoring systems for the skateboards. Keeping that theme alive, the concept also carries a pair of helmets, a camera drone, and removable body protectors that are actually built into the backrests of the driver and front passenger seats.

Skoda Vision X Drivetrain

2018 Skoda Vision X Drivetrain
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At the heart of its powertrain is Volkswagen’s own 1.5-liter engine rated at 130 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque.

This is where the Skoda Vision X really makes a name for itself. At the heart of its powertrain is Volkswagen’s own 1.5-liter engine. It’s rated at 130 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Compressed natural gas can be found in two tanks, one underneath the rear seat and another just behind the rear axle. The latter of these tanks only kick in when the concept needs more power and in times when traction is needed. Overall, it’s decent power, but it’s actually just one of a few power options that the concept is carrying.

The Vision X also has two electric motors, one of which acts as the belt-driven starter generator of the gas engine. The other is a separate motor altogether. It’s capable of delivering an extra 51 pound-feet of torque on the rear axle. It also works with a lithium-ion battery that itself can be recharged through brake energy recovery, which, in turn, can be used when necessary.

Believe it or not, Skoda says that the Vision X Concept can deliver as much as 737 pound-feet of torque, a staggering number for any car, let alone a Skoda. It’s also capable of running on front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive depending on what’s needed at a specific point in time. Its 0-to-60-mph acceleration time sits at just 9.3 seconds while top speed is only 124 mph. Those numbers are paltry by comparison, but the concept doesn’t tout itself as being the fastest and fiercest model on the block. It hangs its hat on its all-around versatile, something that very few of its kind can compete with.

Who knew that Skoda would be capable of a concept so complicated, it might just be brilliant.


2018 Skoda Vision X Exterior
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As a concept, the Skoda Vision X is a home run. The Czech automaker deserves a lot of credit for not only designing an attractive crossover but for also packing with more technological features than it probably has any use for. It’s a positive step in the right direction for a company that doesn’t get as much attention as it probably deserves. For the most part, the Vision X gives Skoda that much-needed time in the spotlight. Now, if only it can somehow translate some of the things in this concept into something that can be tangibly used in the real word, then it would really be on to something.

  • Leave it
    • Interior could have been a little more defined
    • Complicated powertrain setup
    • No plans for production anytime soon


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Read more Skoda news.

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Kirby Garlitos
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Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Press release

Sporty, compact and full of advanced technology: this is ŠKODA’s concept for the urban crossover of the future. The study takes characteristic features from the successful ŠKODA SUV models, reinterprets them and transfers them into a further vehicle segment. The ŠKODA VISION X is celebrating its world premiere at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Compact proportions, short overhangs and precise lines emphasise the agile and sporty nature of the concept car. In its interior, the ŠKODA VISION X boasts innovative infotainment technology. A special highlight: the ŠKODA VISION X’s particularly sustainable drive concept combines a CNG‑and petrol-powered engine with an electric motor, providing spontaneous power delivery and increased agility, and allowing low CO2 emissions of less than 90 grams per kilometre.

“Emotive design, modern drive technology and full connectivity: with the ŠKODA VISION X concept study we are presenting our vision of a modern urban crossover,” said ŠKODA CEO Bernhard Maier, adding, “The exterior design provides a concrete view of the third member of the successful SUV family. With this model we will attract even more customers to the ŠKODA brand going forward.”

The ŠKODA VISION X can be identified as an SUV from the long-established Czech brand at first glance. With the new urban crossover, ŠKODA AUTO is taking the next systematic step in its SUV strategy.

The ŠKODA VISION X embodies agility, versatility and driving pleasure both in urban traffic and when venturing off road. With its compact exterior and interior dimensions as well as advanced infotainment features, the design study orients itself perfectly towards the modern lifestyle of active target groups.

Outdoor excursions and leisure sport activities are the environment in which the robust and compact urban crossover demonstrates its strengths. The concept car provides an insight into a future model that, following the successful launches of the ŠKODA KODIAQ and ŠKODA KAROQ, will continue the brand’s SUV campaign and round off the smaller end of ŠKODA’s SUV family as an urban crossover variant.
Sustainable drive concept: more agility, less emissions

The ŠKODA VISION X’s drive system, which is designed for sustainability as well as agility, is shaped by future-oriented technology. A newly configured hybrid system allows spontaneous power delivery and low emission values. For the first time, a highly efficient and particularly low-emission combustion engine has been combined with a belt-driven starter generator and an electric motor on the rear axle, which can power the vehicle by itself over short distances and, furthermore, takes on a supportive boost function when pulling away. Whether on or off the road, power can be delivered to the front axle, rear axle or, if necessary, to all four wheels. In everyday traffic, the ŠKODA VISION X’s advanced hybrid system returns a combined CO2 emissions value of 89 grams per kilometre when driven in an EU test cycle (NEDC).

The concept study’s 1.5-litre G-TEC combustion engine with four cylinders and turbocharger has been specially developed for use with CNG (compressed natural gas). As well as conventionally extracted natural gas, CNG can also take the form of biogas or, with the help of green energy, synthetically produced natural gas. CNG vehicles running on conventional natural gas already emit between around 18 and 25 per cent less CO2 than a petrol-powered model with a comparable power output. The proportion of nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and other emissions is also considerably lower than those of petrol or diesel engines. By adding biogas, CO2 emissions can be reduced further. When running on 100 per cent biogas or synthetic natural gas, CNG vehicles are CO2 neutral.

The CNG drive system delivers a power output of 96 kW (130 PS) as well as maximum torque of 200 Nm. One CNG tank can be found under the rear seat, the second one behind the rear axle. The CNG engine drives the front axle; the rear axle is powered by an electric motor. The latter is activated when necessary – to generate additional power when pulling away (boost effect) or to improve traction on slippery surfaces and off-road. The storage capacity of the electric motor’s compact battery is sufficient enough to power the concept study purely electrically for a distance of up to two kilometres. Thus, the ŠKODA VISION X can, for example, be driven in a residential area, inside urban low-emission areas or even in the countryside using only the power from the electric motor and, in doing so, travel virtually silently and produce zero emissions. The ŠKODA VISION X is the first ŠKODA all-wheel-drive vehicle that has no propshaft.

The CNG drive is supported by two electric motors: the belt-driven starter generator of the combustion engine and a separate one on the rear axle. Combined, the combustion engine and the second motor provide continuous all-wheel drive. This second motor gets its energy from a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. Thanks to brake energy recovery, the lithium-ion battery charges while driving: when braking and coasting, the ŠKODA VISION X converts kinetic energy into electric energy and uses this energy later for driving. As is typical for electric motors, its maximum torque of 70 Nm is available immediately, which makes the car perceptibly more responsive and agile when pulling away and during short bursts of speed. The benefits of the rechargeable batteries include in particular lower weight, a higher capacity and an affordable price.

In everyday traffic, the hybrid system’s intelligent operating control system ensures the most efficient collaboration possible between the combustion engine and the electric motor. Additionally, Driving Mode Select enables the driver to tailor the drive control to suit them. The driver can select the entirely electric driving mode at the touch of a button, enabling the ŠKODA VISION X to continue its journey whilst producing zero emissions.

The design study can use front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive as and when necessary. The rear-wheel drive transfers 1,000 Nm onto the road and, also thanks to an additional petrol reserve tank, the VISION X has a range of up to 650 kilometres.

The power output of the two drive units allows the ŠKODA VISION X to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.3 seconds; it has a top speed of 200 km/h.
Brand-typical design with crystalline elements and compact proportions

“The design of the ŠKODA VISION X expresses a zest for life and enthusiasm for an active urban lifestyle,” said Head of Design Oliver Stefani, adding, “The design language typically seen in ŠKODA SUV models has been rigorously carried over to a new vehicle segment.”

The latest evolution of the current design language for the brand’s SUV models is visible in the exterior design of the ŠKODA VISION X. The ŠKODA VISION X is 4,255 mm long, 1,807 mm wide and 1,537 mm high; the wheelbase is 2,645 mm and the boot has a capacity of 380 l. The 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels in a 3D design with polished alloy parts and the anthracite, matt paintwork on the crystalline-design spokes strengthen the rugged overall impression.

Other typical features of a ŠKODA SUV are the tornado line running from the headlights to the rear, the side windows which taper towards the rear, and the striking wheel arches. The emotive appearance of the ŠKODA VISION X is emphasised in particular by its exterior finish in the colour combination of FlexGreen and anthracite. Various elements in the interior are finished in the body colours.

The brand-typical radiator grille with double vertical slats and the ŠKODA logo positioned directly above it on the bonnet reveal the VISION X as a member of the Czech car manufacturer’s SUV family at first glance. The grille and logo feature backlighting.

The equally characteristic design of the split headlights, which emphasise the robust and protective nature of the ŠKODA VISION X, follows the design of the previous SUV models, the ŠKODA KAROQ and the ŠKODA KODIAQ. In the VISION X, however, the lighting functions have been rearranged: the delicately designed upper lighting units – each with four lenses made from hand-cut lead crystal – feature the daytime running lights and indicators with LED technology. The indicator contains sequential lights (sweeping effect). The lights below – also in a cut lead crystal design – offer LED technology for the dipped and high beam.

The triangular LED rear lights of the ŠKODA VISION X also come in a new, yet brand-typical, design. They are likewise split in two and integrated separately into the rear section. Together, they form the ‘C’ shape that is typical of ŠKODA models. The precise lines are completed by clean-cut crystal glass elements, which cover the rear lights. The tail light positioned in the upper light element is produced by LED units which have the same triangular shape as the light sources for the daytime running light in the upper section of the headlights.

The lines typical of ŠKODA’s current design language are inspired by crystalline shapes and can be found in the headlights, rear lights and wing mirrors of the concept car. The crystalline design’s reference to traditional Bohemian glass art is expressed by an exclusive choice of materials for particularly striking details on the ŠKODA VISION X, such as the radiator grille’s trims and double slats, the ŠKODA logo on the bonnet and decorative elements in the wing mirrors. Rather than the ŠKODA logo, aluminium ŠKODA lettering is mounted onto the rear.
New interior design

The concept car’s interior offers ŠKODA-typical generous dimensions and versatile space for passengers and luggage. The wide dashboard has a great visual presence and a perfectly ergonomic design. It features lively and symmetrical surfaces with lines that mirror the brand-typical contour for the front end of the bonnet. Triangular features, such as the air outlets, can be found on the dashboard. The interior is equipped with a variety of special features, which emphasise the versatile and sports-oriented nature of the ŠKODA VISION X.

A sporty and active lifestyle is also reflected in the materials chosen for the seat surfaces, door trims, centre console and dashboard. A mix of breathable fabrics, artificial leather and rubber surfaces characterises the robust and sporty interior ambience of the ŠKODA VISION X.

Furthermore, the ŠKODA VISION X features a centre console with a polished glass surface, making it possible to look at a display that is connected to the drive control and showing the energy flow of the two motors as well as the drive’s mode of operation. Multicoloured graphics illustrate the distribution of torque to the front or rear axle.
Groundbreaking: technology and design for infotainment and connectivity

Now that the latest infotainment and connectivity features are available for almost all ŠKODA models, the ŠKODA VISION X is rigorously driving the digitalisation of ŠKODA models forward and offering digital services such as Smart Parking, HoppyGo, TwoGo and CareDriver. These technologies:

› direct the driver to available parking spaces
› offer the car for rental when it is not needed
› offer car sharing opportunities
› or, for example, ensure that children are picked up from nursery if their parent or guardian cannot make it on time.

These innovative features contribute to a particularly enhanced, unique and emotionally charged driving experience in the ŠKODA VISION X. They were developed in the ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, a think tank which strengthens the innovative capability of the Czech car manufacturer in the area of digitalisation. The DigiLab develops the basis for innovative mobility concepts, ‘car2X’ communication, mobile online services and a whole host of other technological solutions which digitally connect cars with their users and their surroundings.

Thanks to the ŠKODA Connect services, passengers in the ŠKODA VISION X are always online.

The car also features a digital instrument panel, which allows content to be selected and positioned individually. Furthermore, the concept car comes equipped with an all-new in-car monitor with a new digital Human Machine Interface (HMI) system. The high-resolution, colour display with touchscreen functionality is integrated into the dashboard as a freestanding monitor above the centre console. It displays a personal welcome message for the driver as soon as they open the door and then serves as the central display and control unit for all infotainment and connectivity features available during the journey. At the same time, the personal settings of the driver seat saved on the remote-control key are activated as well as comfort features such as air conditioning and ventilation, and the preferred music programme.

Functions are visualised on the digital instrument panel and the central in-car monitor using new display modes and graphics, which were also developed in the ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab. These use colour-coordinated light effects.

The in-car monitor rises at the press of a button, allowing a smartphone to be slotted into its built-in docking station. Connecting a mobile phone allows all of the infotainment system features that are integrated via an Internet connection or smartphone apps to be used on board the ŠKODA VISION X instantly. Furthermore, the addresses and calendar entries saved in the smartphone as well as individual mobility patterns are used to determine the next driving destination and to offer the driver various route suggestions.
‘Simply Clever’: electric skateboards for the last mile

The ‘Simply Clever’ concept for the ŠKODA VISION X includes another sustainable idea. The boot of the ŠKODA VISION X comes equipped with special anchoring systems for two electric skateboards. The car also carries two helmets and a camera drone, which the skateboarder can use to record a video of their speedy ride. In addition, removable protectors for the skateboarder’s neck and back area are built into the backrests of the driver and front passenger’s sport seats. Two sports bottles are integrated into the centre console.
Electromobility strategy

Electromobility plays a crucial role in ŠKODA AUTO’s global growth strategy. The electrification of the ŠKODA model range will start as early as 2019 with the launch of a ŠKODA SUPERB with plug-in hybrid drive. In addition to electric vehicles, electric components for plug-in hybrid models for several Volkswagen Group brands will also be produced at the Mladá Boleslav plant from as early as 2019. Shortly afterwards, the first ŠKODA production vehicle with purely electric drive will follow. Between now and 2025, the brand will be extensively expanding its range of hybrid vehicles and purely battery-powered models in various segments.

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