First drive: Skoda Vision RS – new PHEV powertrain sampled

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How the Vision RS previews the Scala – and the future of vRS

The Vision RS showcases Skoda’s latest design language, and gives a hint at how the forthcoming Scala will look. Just as significantly, it also contains features that hint at the future of the vRS performance line, according to exterior designer Dalibar Pantucek, who says: “the target was to make a sports car in a modern way.”

The concept is 4356mm long – just over 50mm longer than the Rapid – 1810mm wide and 1431mm high, with a wheelbase of 2650mm. It sits on 225/35 20-inch Michelin tyres.

While some of the design details of the Vision RS – such as the crystal badge and illuminating bars on the front grille – are unlikely to ever make production, a number of elements give a hint of the future design of vRS models, according to Pantucek.

The car has a carbonfibre grille with prominent 3D-style ‘ribs’ and an intricate ‘v’ pattern that Pantucek says could become a “signature” for the vRS family. The extensive use of carbonfibre design elements, including the front and rear diffuser as well as the grille, was made to reduce weight, rather than for style. “Everything on this car is there for a reason,” says Pantucek.

A key element of the car was on maximising efficiency with all the parts, including air intakes on the front bodywork and wheel covers designed to reduce drag and rear spoiler, tested in a wind tunnel. Pantucek says that the wheel covers have a significant effect on reducing drag, and Skoda is looking at offering them as options on forthcoming models – particularly because improving aerodynamic efficiency reduces emissions and boosts fuel economy.

While the side of the car is heavily sculpted, the Vision RS features standard wing mirrors rather than cameras, although these are styled to serve as miniature wings, similar to those on the Skoda Fabia R5 rally car.

Inside, the concept features a new dashboard design featuring carbon elements with a “signature line” that features a central dip where a free-floating touchscreen is located. That screen sits in front of a small shelf, which can be used as a rest while operating the screen. 

As well as the Vision RS’s hybrid powertrain, Skoda also says it has demonstrated ‘environmental awareness’ by using Vegan materials, including polyester thread for the Alcantara-covered seats, in its production.

The hybrid tech of the Vision RS concept

The PHEV unit in the Vision RS features a 148bhp, 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and a 101bhp electric motor, which combine to give 242bhp of total output. On the concept, the system drives all four wheels through a DSG gearbox. Skoda cites a 0-62mph time of 7.1secs, and 50-75mph in 8.9secs.

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