Electric Skoda Enyaq to release in the UK early this year: It seems inevitable that the future of vehicles is electric not only due to the numerous environmental benefits yielded by abstaining from traditional combustion engines, but also as a result of how electric vehicles are proving to be far more economical than their fossil fuel forefathers when viewed in the long term and how manufacturers are rapidly discovering the immense and exhilarating potential of electric batteries and motors that only become more tantalising as technology advances.
Last year, Skoda revealed that it would be dabbling a finger or two in the electric vehicle pond in the form of its Enyaq iV, which is based on the VW group’s MEB platform, whose architecture is said to optimise the capabilities and efficiency of the components it is designed to host. The Enyaq iV will be the VW group’s first vehicle utilising this platform to be assembled and manufactured outside of the group’s heartland in Germany, in which it will be Skoda’s Mlada Boleslav factory in the Czech Republic that will bear responsibility for this. Moreover, the Enyaq will be the first of the VW group’s ever-expanding range of electric vehicles to be produced alongside models that still incorporate combustion engine vehicles.
In the past few years, Skoda’s credibility as a manufacturer has risen profoundly, in which they produce various high quality and reliable vehicles. From the details received, the Enyaq iV will be no exception to this principle.
The Enyaq will serve as an SUV, prioritising capacity and the spaciousness of the interior, evident in how it is considerably larger than one of its major rivals, the Kia E-Niro, and very similar in dimensions to the Skoda Kodiaq, which is large by the standards of an SUV. It will be available initially in four distinct flavours, with two favouring rear wheel drive, and the other two four wheel drive, although Sportline and Coupe models have been confirmed by the Cezch firm.
The rear wheel drive versions have been labelled the 60 and the 80, and, as suggested, both have an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. However, the two models differ considerably in terms of power and range. The standard 60 iV comprises a 62 kWh lithium ion battery that produces 177 brake horsepower, and is capable of an estimated range of 242 miles and 0-62 mph in approximately 8.7 seconds. Alternatively, the more powerful 80 iV features an 82 kWh lithium ion battery that produces 201 bhp, offers 316 miles of range and a slightly quicker 0-62 mph acceleration time of 8.5 seconds.
Both of the four wheel drive variants, as would be expected, contain two separate electric motors, with one being assigned to the front axle and the other to the rear axle. This subset of vehicles encompasses the 80x iV and the vRS, both of which, unlike the rear wheel drive options, utilise the larger 82 kWh lithium ion battery and as a result are considerably more powerful than their two wheel drive contemporaries. The 80x iV wields 262 bhp, has an estimated 285 miles of range, and is able to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds, whereas, the more performance oriented vRS is capable of deploying 302 bhp and has a claimed 0-62 mph time of 6.2 seconds. However, it makes no improvements upon range and boasts the same estimated electric range as the 80x iV.
As far as superficial qualities are concerned, there is nothing remarkable about the Enyaq iV in the sense of being evocative of the progressive electrification of the automobile industry, as, in stark contrast to other electric vehicles available on the market, such as the Tesla Model 3 or the ID 3, there is a dearth of any overtly futuristic elements that make it distinguishable from vehicles fueled by petrol or diesel. This lack of any noticeable aesthetic deviations make the Enyaq iV perhaps one of the most modest electric vehicles in existence as it bears closer resemblance to some of Skoda’s other combustion engined SUVs rather than the archetypal image of an electric vehicle. The Enyaq iV even possesses a grille, even though there is no obvious requirement for an intake, in which there is an option to pay extra in order to install LED-lit bars on the grille.
As standard, the Enyaq iV is compatible with 50 kW DC charging, although a 125 kW rapid public charger can be used in order to restore the battery charge from 10% to 80% in the space of 38 minutes. Skoda claims that a 7 kW wall charger will be able to completely charge the Enyaq iV from flat to full in a window of time between 6 and 8 hours. If preferred, more can be invested to make 100 kW and 125 kW charging as standard for the 62 kWh and 82 kWh batteries respectively.
Being an SUV at its core, the Enyaq iV is not lacking in space and boot capacity, in which the available 585 litres in the boot is accompanied by an 11.4 litre compartment under the centre console and a 6.2 litre storage box beneath the centre armrest. The 13 inch infotainment screen is able to regulate functions including air conditioning and seat heating, as well as the driver mode, and can be controlled through both gestures and voice commands. Integrated software will update automatically through a sustained online connection, rather than manually at a dealership and can be connected wirelessly to mobile devices via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
The interior itself is minimalistic and proudly contains a plethora of recycled materials, in which the styling is offered in three different forms: Loft (which incorporates fabric and artificial leather with aluminium highlights), Lounge (which is available for a surplus £1115 and uses grey leather with yellow stitching in the interior), and Suite (which applies black leather, piano black highlights, and trim panels for an extra £1285).
Both the 60 iV and 80 iV come with the Loft treatment as standard, with the 60 iV at its price of £30,450 (taking into account the £3000 government subsidy) also coming with ambient lighting, rear parking sensors, and 19 inch alloy wheels, whilst the 80 iV at a more expensive £35,950 (again taking into account the £3000 grant) is equipped with sundry other features including front parking sensors, a heated leather steering wheel, adjustable regenerative braking controlled via paddles, a rear view camera, satellite navigation, and a device by which to select the driving mode. The top of the Enyaq iV range is dominated by the Founder’s Edition model at a significantly more expensive price of £46,995 with the grant applied, which, as standard, comes fitted with 21 inch wheels, 125 kW charging capabilities, black leather interior, Matrix LED headlights, and the aforementioned grille with LED-lit bars.
So Skoda, like so many other firms have elected to pursue the aspiration of electrification of a commendable portion of and potentially even all of their vehicle range in the not so distant future, and the Enyaq iV’s already diverse scope of variants, of which more can be expected in the spring of this year, suggests that their trial with electric vehicles is a dedication and not just an experiment for the benefit of driver, company, and planet.
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