Skoda Vision X

Skoda’s Vision of the future

18 March 2018

SKODA is to introduce a new SUV range that the company claims will make one of the most major contributions towards reducing automotive air pollution.

Currently code-named the Skoda Vision X but possibly to be called Amiq when it goes on sale here next year, it will use triple power sources of petrol, electric and compressed natural gas.

The result will be a mainstream family vehicle that undercuts the world-wide target of 90g/km for CO2 emissions, albeit only just.

Beneath the bonnet is a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that has been specifically created to use 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 emit up to 25 per cent less carbon dioxide 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 considered to be CO2 neutral.

The CNG drive system achieves a power output of 130bhp with maximum torque of 200Nm.

In the case of the new Vision X, which will line up alongside the VW Group’s similar T-Roc and SEAT Arona models, the CNG engine drives the front wheels whilst the electric power goes to the rear wheels.

The rear wheels receive power only when necessary, such as when pulling away quickly or for additional grip on slippery surfaces, but the vehicle can travel for a couple of miles on battery power only.

Obviously this is only a token distance, unlike a pure-electric Nissan LEAF for example, but is enough to keep areas around schools pollution-free.

The newcomer will use kinetic energy from regenerative braking, coasting and cornering to convert into electrical energy and, as is the case with electric motors, deliver instant maximum power when needed.

This is an advantage over conventional petrol and diesel engines that have to build-up engine revs to achieve maximum power delivery.

In everyday traffic, the hybrid system’s intelligent operating control system decides upon the most efficient collaboration between the combustion engine and the electric motor.

However, the driver can manually override this system to make the vehicle run silently and emissions-free on pure electricity at the touch of a button.

Skoda says that the vehicle has a realistic range of 400 miles, with acceleration to 60mph in 9.3 seconds, a top speed of 120mph and an official CO2 figure of 89g/km.

In terms of size the vehicle is 4,255mm long, 1,807mm wide and 1,537 high, with a wheelbase of 2,645mm and a boot capacity of 380 litres.

This means it is longer and wider than both the T-Roc and Arona, with a lower roof to create a sportier appearance, whilst offering more legroom inside thanks to the longer wheelbase.

As is becoming increasingly common, the frontal lighting is at the forefront of the vehicle’s uniquely distinctive identity, with four headlamp lenses crafted from hand-cut lead crystal.

There are daytime LED running lights, and Audi-style indicators that use sequential lights to create a sweeping effect in a line.

The new vehicle will be the latest step in Skoda’s imminent move into electrification, with a plug-in hybrid Superb due next year, to be followed by the company’s first pure electric vehicle soon afterwards.