The future of performance is looking electric it seems. With hybrid tech helping squeeze out more performance from traditional internal combustion engines, Skoda is looking ahead towards the future eco-friendly performance with the release of the all-new Vision RS Concept.
First revealed via design sketches last month, the stylish five-door concept combines turbocharged hot hatch performance with the efficiency and practicality of a hybrid system. With electrified drive systems resulting in cleaner emissions and more power, Skoda plans on making such techonology available for every Skoda in the near future.
Starting with the car's exterior design, the company stated that they took inspiration from the automaker's 117-year motorsport history. Previewing a new design language, the RS Vision Concept blends familiar styling cues with futuristic design elements. The front grill is distinctly Skoda while the headlights and front bumper feature a dynamic design reminescent of a futuristic automobile.
Also serving as eye-candy is the angularly-designed rear. Inverted L-shaped taillights, a blacked-out upper tailgate and spoiler, and rear bumper-mounted diffuser give the Vision RS Concept a truly aggressive look. To top it all off, the concept rolls on overly-large 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels that were specifically designed to reduce drag.
Inside, Skoda decided on a minimalistic, yet futuristic approach in designing the Vision RS' interior. Dominating the center dash is a movable touchscreen display. With a push of a button, the touchscreen moves upwards to reveal a charging and docking station for smartphones. This allows the onboard system to establish a mobile internet connection while on the go. There is also Skoda Connect which works with the Amazon Alexa voice service for additional service and infotainment needs.
Under the hood is no ordinary powertrain. Instead of just having a turbocharged 1.5-liter TSI four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, it gets a helping hand from an electric motor. The engine produces 150 PS while the electric motor puts out an additional 102 PS. The result is a combined system output of 245 PS, essentially making the Vision RS Concept a 'hybrid hot hatch'.
Mated to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the hybrid concept can sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in just 7.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 km/h. With both the engine and electric motor working together, Skoda claims it allows the hot hatch concept to only emit 33g of C02 per km. It also has three driving modes available: Normal, Sport and EV.
When in Normal, the powertrain uses both the 1.5-liter TSI and electric motor. Meanwhile, Sport makes the most out of the hybrid powertrain for a speedy and exhilarating drive. Finally, there's EV which powers the hatchback with just electricity. Thanks to a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the concept is capable of traveling on just pure electric power for 70 km. It can be rechaged via regenerative / energy recovering tech while on the road, or by recharging the battery pack at home via a wall socket for 2.5 hours.
Skoda has yet to say if the Vision RS Concept will be turned into a full-blown production car. However, we won't be surprised if the company will make use of the technology, as well as its design, on future models.