Skoda Vision iV: electric SUV to get rear-wheel drive option

Production version of electric Skoda Vision iV will get rear-wheel drive option when it arrives in 2021

The forthcoming, pure-electric Skoda SUV “will be offered with front and rear-wheel drive options”, according to company sources.

Previewed by the Skoda Vision iV concept at Geneva Motor Show earlier in 2019, it’s already known that the electric SUV will be offered both in a rakish coupe body and also a boxier, more practical SUV shape.

Featuring two electric motors - one on each axle - four-wheel drive models, will officially return 310 miles of range from a 83kWh battery.

Skoda remains tight-lipped on whether it will offer other battery options for its electric SUV, however, a cheap, more efficient rear-wheel drive version with a single-motor and smaller battery looks likely.

It will be the first rear-wheel drive Skoda since the brand was bought by Volkswagen Group in 1991.

Such a move would also be in-keeping with the brand’s ethos of being an affordable, attainable brand, despite the evident lustre and expense on display in the Vision iV concept.

The Vision iV’s exterior designer, Omer Halilhodzic, says the exterior is “85% representative of the production car.”

Halilhodzic added that aspects of the design, including the front LED strip, the grille shape and large arches that will house wheels up to 21-inches in size, will make production.

The sweeping roofline of the Vision iV will also make it to the road car and “will actually be lower than on the concept car when it goes into production,” according to Halilhodzic. “But it will still be roomy – that’s essential for a Skoda.”

Skoda’s electric car range rolls into showrooms next year with the Superb plug-in hybrid and electric Citigo.

The Vision iV SUV and Coupe (which will be renamed for production) will follow in 2021. Prices are expected to start from under £30,000.

Skoda Vision iV specifications

Four-wheel drive versions of the Vision iV electric SUV will  produce a combined 302bhp, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 112mph.

The 83kWh lithium-ion battery returns up to 310 miles of range according to WLTP testing, with a 0-80% rapid charge possible in as little as half an hour.

The car’s MEB underpinnings are the same as those being used for the forthcoming I.D. family of electric vehicles from parent company Volkswagen, as well as the new electric car from SEAT.

The Vision iV’s coupe-SUV design includes several elements often found on concept cars, such as doors without handles, rear-view cameras instead of wing mirrors, massive “aerodynamically optimised” 22-inch wheels and LED headlights.

Skoda says the Vision iV showcases a more “emotional” design, featuring sharper bumpers and restyled LED lights at the front and rear. The Vision iV is aiming for a sportier look than the one modelled on the Vision E concept two years ago.

Inside, the car's infotainment system hovers on top of the dashboard, with the conventional centre console ditched in favour of floating central column. A two-spoke steering wheel sits in front of a digital instrument cluster, displaying charging information and directions from the sat nav.

Bucket seats are mounted in such a way that they can swivel on the spot, and Skoda says environmentally friendly materials have been used in the construction of the floor mats and upholstery. The Vision iV concept can charge two smartphones wirelessly, and connect both to the infotainment system at the same time. Meanwhile, storage can be found underneath the central column.

‘Level 3’ autonomous driving is included, with cameras and lasers allowing the Vision iV to take control of its own steering, accelerating and braking on motorways. Other technological features include parking assistance, traffic-jam assistance, in-car gesture control and voice recognition.