With the recent double release of the Superb iV and the Citigoe iV, Skoda is getting ready for the future in a bid to have 10 electrified models by the middle of the next decade. While bolstering its PHEV and EV portfolio, the Czech marque still believes cars that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) deserve a place in the automotive realm. Case in point, after unveiling an updated Octavia G-TEC in September 2018, the VW-owned brand is now introducing a CNG-compatible variant of its Rapid-replacing Scala compact hatchback.

Unlike the bigger Octavia, which uses a four-cylinder 1.5-litre engine, the Scala G-TEC relies on a tiny three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit that pumps out a modest 89 bhp and 118 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. It’s not the type of car to steal the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R’s front-wheel-drive Nürburgring record as it has been developed to be as economical as possible while keeping emissions down to a minimum.

Skoda Scala G-Tec t

The CNG-friendly engine feeds on three linked steel tanks holding 13.8 kilograms (30.4 pounds) of compressed natural gas. That’s enough to grant the Scala G-TEC with a CNG range of approximately 255 miles, while the tiny nine-litre petrol tank provides an additional 136 miles. Doing the simple math, it means the eco-friendly hatchback has a total range of 391 miles.

Skoda Scala G-Tec t

It’s important to mention the new Scala version is not as practical as the conventional models since the three CNG tanks eat into the available cargo capacity. The normal model can swallow up to 467 litres with the rear seats up, but the G-Tec can only accommodate 339 litres, which isn’t half bad actually. In fact, Skoda says it’s a segment-leading cargo volume for a natural gas car – not that there are many of these on sale in Europe anyway…

Skoda Scala G-Tec t

Skoda will sell the Scala G-TEC in Active, Ambition, and Style trim levels with disc brakes at both front and rear axles. Partial LED headlights and taillights come as standard, but a full-LED setup is available at an additional cost. As it is the case with the conventionally powered hatchback, the thrifty derivative comes standard with Lane Assist and Front Assist with City Emergency Brake even in entry-level guise.

The new Skoda Scala G-TEC will go on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2019. No confirmation for the UK market.

Gallery: Skoda Scala G-Tec (2019)

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CNG Mobility Days 2019 in Berlin: ŠKODA presents natural-gas-powered SCALA G-TEC

Particularly eco-friendly and efficient variant of the new compact ŠKODA model
› Three CNG tanks enable a range of around 410 kilometres in natural-gas mode
› Launch of the natural-gas-powered ŠKODA SCALA G-TEC in the fourth quarter of 2019

Mladá Boleslav, 25 June 2019 – ŠKODA is introducing the most eco-friendly variant of its new compact model at the CNG Mobility Days in Berlin (24/25 June 2019): the ŠKODA SCALA G-TEC. This natural-gas-powered SCALA completes the engine roster for the new compact model, adding a particularly efficient and eco-friendly variant. The 1.0 G-TEC has a peak output of 66 kW (90 PS), with three CNG tanks enabling a range of around 410 kilometres in natural-gas mode, according to preliminary data. Combined with the nine-litre petrol tank, this makes for a total range of around 630 kilometres. The new ŠKODA SCALA G-TEC will enter showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Christian Strube, ŠKODA Board Member for Technical Development, explains: “Natural gas will play a key role in ŠKODA’s engine portfolio over the coming years in order to lower CO2 emissions. Our natural-gas engines are becoming more and more popular with our customers because of their low emissions. And anyone driving a ŠKODA SCALA G-TEC will in future also benefit from comparatively low fuel costs in many countries.”

ŠKODA is building a range of eco-friendly natural-gas models. The new ŠKODA SCALA G-TEC joins the OCTAVIA G-TEC as the second natural-gas-powered model in the ŠKODA model range. The new SCALA G-TEC is powered by a three-cylinder turbo with a 1.0-litre displacement and an output of 66 kW (90 PS). Its maximum torque of 160 Nm is transmitted via a 6-speed manual gearbox. The SCALA G-TEC is specifically designed for CNG use and complies with the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard. CO2 emissions are reduced by around 25 per cent compared to running on petrol, with considerably lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as well and no particulates.

A range of 410 kilometres, courtesy of three CNG tanks with a capacity of 13.8 kilograms
The SCALA G-TEC comes with three linked steel CNG tanks accommodating 13.8 kilograms of CNG. This enables the compact model to cover around 410 kilometres in the eco-friendly and efficient natural-gas mode. Should the CNG run out, the SCALA will automatically switch to petrol mode, where a nine-litre tank allows it to cover around 220 additional kilometres. As a result, the SCALA G-TEC remains mobile in regions without natural-gas filling stations, with a combined range of around 630 kilometres.

Lane Assist, Front Assist and LED lights included as standard
The SCALA 1.0 G-TEC is available with the Active, Ambition and Style trim levels and comes with disc brakes at the front and rear. As in all SCALA models, standard equipment for the G-TEC variants includes the Lane Assist and Front Assist with City Emergency Brake function as well as LED headlights and tail lights, with a full-LED upgrade option. Thanks to the clever way the CNG tanks are integrated in the underbody, the SCALA G-TEC has a luggage capacity of 339 litres – a best-in-class value for natural-gas vehicles in this segment.

Natural gas – an efficient, eco-friendly transitional technology on the road to the electric age
Natural gas (CNG) has a higher calorific value than petrol or diesel. It is more affordable and burns cleaner, with the added benefit that natural-gas engines are quieter. Using CNG biogas derived from waste water treatment and agricultural waste processing or, alternatively, synthetic gas, again adds considerable environmental benefits, especially when the gas is produced with regenerative electricity.

Natural gas can be used to bridge the gap between fossil fuels and electric mobility and has the added advantage of being available today. Moreover, gas-powered vehicles can be filled up easily and conveniently, much like petrol or diesel models.