In the global automotive scene, Skoda might have been a punchline to lame jokes but here in India, it’s a revered brand. For the Octavia and the Fabia and even the Superb, the Czech automaker has been a favourite for many petrol heads around here. Now, Skoda wants to change its public perception yet again, to something fast and exciting with this – the Vision RS.
Showcased at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the Vision RS previews a new hatchback that will be more attractive than the relatively dull Octavia, and also get more Skoda hybrids on the road. Sharing the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine from VW which makes 148bhp, Skoda has given it a shocking boost of electricity to raise the total output to 242bhp. That means the Vision RS can do 0-100kph in 7.1 seconds.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, the Octavia RS is actually faster. And rivals like the VW Golf GTI PerformancePerformance and Hyundai i30N are faster as well. But the idea for the Vision RS isn’t to have the highest figures, but to offer a blend of practicality and speed for efficient performance. You can also drive the Vision RS in full electric mode with the 13kWh lithium-ion battery offering 70km after two-and-a-half-hours of charging.
All those numbers are appetizing but it’s the design of the Skoda Vision RS that triggers our craving for it. The widebody stance with the athletic lines along the exterior gives the hatch a sporty look. The splashes of carbon-fibre for the side air inlets, air inlet grille, radiator grille, front spoiler, side sills, wing mirrors, the diffuser and the roof spoiler improve aerodynamics while also reducing weight. Its narrow DRLs and headlights with glass stones also add to its sharp appearance. As is typical of concept cars, the Vision RS rides on 20-inch alloys while a production-spec is likely to come with 18s which would look nice as well in the same aero-efficient design. Interestingly, there is no visible exhaust which gives the rear end a very clean and uninterrupted look, accented by the LED strip above the diffuser.
Inside the Vision RS, Skoda has presented a new interior design language that will feature on the upcoming hatchback. In the concept, the instrument panel continues the symmetrical contours of the radiator grille at its centre. There is a dollop of carbon-fibre in here as well along with decorative trims made of crystal glass that also get ambient lighting. The sculpted sports bucket seats, flat-bottom steering wheel and minimalistic gearstick which uses shift-by-wire to operate the DSG highlight the car’s performance tuning. On the sensible side of things, the freestanding large touchscreen display is also a preview of what the new Skoda hatchback will feature.
The Skoda Vision RS is an exciting concept of a hybrid hot hatch, mainly because it’s not outlandish in design or in technology. A car that would look quite similar with similar performance will be following this and we can’t wait to see it. Oh, and if you had any doubts about Skoda’s interest in sporty driving, just take a look at the massive Kodiaq vRS next to it at the show – a Nürburging honed diesel SUV that can do 0-100kph in 7 seconds.
What do you think of the new Skoda Vision RS Concept? What do you think will be the name of the upcoming Skoda hatchback? Could it be revival of the Fabia? Share your thoughts in the comments below the gallery. Leave a like if you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for the all the updates on our latest content.