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Skoda Vision X concept shows plans for compact crossover

Skoda has revealed plans for a new small SUV with the unveiling of the Vision X concept car at the Geneva Motor Show.

The Vision X previews a third model for Skoda's SUV line-up.

The Vision X previews a third model for Skoda’s SUV line-up.

Set to go on sale next year, the production version of the Vision X will enter the burgeoning small SUV/crossover sector and compete against the likes of the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic.

Aimed at the traditional ‘lifestyle’ market, the Vision X will sit at the bottom of Skoda’s recently expanded SUV line-up below the Kodiaq and Karoq.

Few details of specifications are available, but expect a range of downsized Volkswagen Group petrol and diesel engines to ensure broad appeal for user-choosers.

Unlikely to make it to the UK is the concept car’s hybrid powertrain, which utilises a version of the 1.5-litre TSI Evo petrol engine that can run on either petrol or CNG (compressed natural gas) and is allied to an electric motor driving the rear wheels. Thus, the Vision X can be driven in front, rear or all-wheel drive guise, depending on conditions and the driving mode selected. However, the concept’s 48V electrics suggest that mild hybridisation will become a production reality.

More likely to make production is a raft of new technology features created by Skoda’s DigiLab, which is tasked with developing car communication, mobile online services and other solutions which connect cars with their users.

The Vision X concept debuts digital services such as Smart Parking (directing the driver to an available parking space), HoppyGo (offering the car for rental when it is not needed), TwoGo (offering car sharing opportunities), and CareDriver (ensuring that children are picked up from nursery if their parent or guardian cannot make it on time).

Visually, the Vision X features stylised versions of Skoda’s design language, such as the slatted headlights and prominent chrome grille.

Inside, the active lifestyle trend continues with a mix of breathable fabrics, artificial leather and rubber surfaces that should withstand whatever is thrown at them. The Vision X also 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 mode of operation.

Elsewhere on the Skoda stand, a thoroughly refreshed Fabia supermini was revealed, with modified front and rear styling incorporating LED headlights and rear lights. Inside, a new instrument cluster and redesigned seats provide fresh visual highlights.

Skoda’s big Kodiaq SUV was also present with the launch of a range-topping Laurin & Klement model. Spec highlights include 19‑inch alloy wheels, full-LED headlights, a radiator grille with chromed slats as well as model-specific front and rear bumpers.

The Octavia vRS was also shown for the first time with the optional Challenge Plus package, which consists of exclusive design and equipment features for both the interior and exterior.

Finally, the digital instrument panel first introduced in the Karoq SUV is to be made available for the Octavia, Superb and Kodiaq. The panel’s displays can be individually programmed – in addition to speed, rpm, fuel or the navigational destination, information about the sound system, telephone or assistance systems can also be displayed in the binnacle.

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Julian Kirk

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