Not just a pretty face.
Skoda will unveil a world first in Geneva this week, a car capable of being powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), petrol and electricity. Not only that, but it will be able to send power to the front, rear, or all four wheels depending on what's necessary.
We've already seen a teaser for the Vision X, but these new details of the SUV concept shows that the Geneva special is more than just a design language preview. The hybrid powertrain produces just 89g/km of CO2.
'At Skoda, the developments and preparations for the mobility of tomorrow are in full swing,' said Skoda's head of research, Christian Strube. 'With the Vision X hybrid study, we offer an outlook on the further development of our model range. CNG vehicles are clean and inexpensive. Moreover, with the hybrid, our customers can experience zero-emission driving.'
The crossover's combustion engine is a 1.5-litre TSI G-Tec four-cylinder turbocharged unit specifically designed to be powered by CNG. When fuelled with CNG, the engine produces 130bhp and 184lb-ft of torque. There are two CNG tanks – one under the rear seat, and behind the rear axle – and the gas powers the front axle, the rear is handled by the electric motor. The car can drive on electrical power alone for one and a quarter miles.
Overall, 0-62 mph is completed in 9.3 seconds, with a top speed of 124mph.
The Vision X is the first Skoda all-wheel-drive vehicle without a propshaft, meaning that it's both lighter and better on fuel. Also the electric drive, powered by a 48V lithium-ion battery system, only kicks in exactly when needed. One of the electric motors powers a belt-driven starter-generator (BSG), while the second drives the rear axle. On top of that, an energy regeneration system charges the batteries while driving.