Skoda Vi­sion RS

Hot hatches, go-faster SUVs... no one’s laugh­ing now, are they?

Top Gear (UK) - - CONTENTS - OL­LIE KEW

Now Skoda is no longer the punch­line of a Christ­mas cracker joke, it wants you to change your think­ing again. It wants you to think ‘ph­woar’ when you look at a Skoda. And ‘fast’.

Skoda’s go­ing all out to rein­vent its styling into some­thing al­to­gether an­grier, and has draped it over a hy­brid hot hatch­back. The Vi­sion RS pre­views a new hatch­back from Skoda, called the Scala, that’ll ratchet up the kerb ap­peal ver­sus the nice-but-beige Oc­tavia – and turn the trickle of plug-in hy­brid Sko­das into a tor­rent.

The Vi­sion RS re­lies on the VW Group’s 1.5-litre four-cylin­der turbo engine, which puts out 148bhp. Not much, huh? Ah, but the fu­ture won’t de­pend on old-fash­ioned cylin­ders bang­ing up and down. So, the Vi­sion RS adds a 100bhp dol­lop of elec­tric squirt, which drops the 0–62mph sprint down to 7.1 sec­onds. Skoda says to­tal sys­tem power is 242bhp. That’s still off the pace of a Golf GTI Per­for­mance or Hyundai i30N, mind you. Or a Skoda Oc­tavia VRS. Awk­ward. But we imag­ine the petrol engine could be boosted from its hum­ble to­tals, and be­sides, this is more about ef­fi­cient per­for­mance than head-bang­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion.

So, spend two-and-a-half hours charg­ing the 13kWh lithium-ion bat­tery and Skoda claims you’ll go 43 miles on the charge. We’re also told av­er­age CO2 emis­sions are 33g/km – be­cause plug-in hy­brids aren’t half clever at shin­ing on rolling-road tests…

Still, the num­bers are merely ap­pe­tis­ers for now. What’s im­por­tant here is whether or not you look at the Vi­sion RS’s car­bon-fes­tooned body­work and find your­self gnaw­ing the back of your hand and want­ing it.

Even the seven-seat Ko­diaq is get­ting posher... see new 237bhp vRS diesel, proobelow,be­low,for for proof Heard that one about the fast, hand­some, well-built Skoda? Yeah, not funny

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