As well as suggesting a new model of Skoda, the Vision RS helps secure the future of the marque’s vRS performance division
After publishing sketches of what the exterior of its new concept car will look like last week, Skoda has now released sketches of the car’s interior. The actual car – the Skoda Vision RS – will be unveiled at this year’s Paris motor show and will not only hint at the future of Skoda’s performance models, the Czech company says it also shows what a new compact model might look like.
The new drawings of the Vision RS’s interior show the car will have only four seats – two up front and two in the rear. If the not-so-practical configuration didn’t reveal that this concept isn’t an ordinary, sensible Skoda, then the four fixed-back seats with deep sides, wide shoulders and quilted Alcantara bases shout that this will definitely be a vRS model.
To complement the sports seats there are multiple carbonfibre panels – a large section of the door cards will be made from the composite material as well as the entire centre console. Although you can’t see it from the pictures, Skoda says that the interior door handles will be just by fabric loops, much like the track-ready Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
You’d assume such materials will be used to save weight. However, other parts of the interior include animated light effects and hand-cut decorative lead glass – hardly the stuff of race cars.
The first sketches we saw showed the exterior of the Skoda Vision RS concept and that it will have the same sharp lines, slim lights and notched grille that give the current range of Skodas their family look. However, thanks to a huge set of wheels, a prominent front splitter and dark detailing, it is far more aggressive than any of the marque’s models – even the vRS ones.
The exaggerated lines and massive rims, typical of a concept car, disguise the car’s size and proportions, but the sketch looks as though it hints at a small, possibly VW Golf-sized, new Skoda. However, the Vision RS has details that are less hatchback and more compact estate car; its long roofline and relatively thin rear pillar means it shares visual similarities to the Octavia Estate, currently Skoda’s staple vRS model, and the Rapid Spaceback. What is less practical and estate car-like is the sporty roof spoiler, deep side skirts and rear diffuser.
To give us a better idea as to what type of new car the Vision RS might be signalling, Skoda has revealed the dimensions of the upcoming concept. The Vision RS will be 4356mm long, 1810mm wide, 1431mm high and with a wheelbase of 2650mm – that puts it 98mm longer than a Golf, but 333mm shorter than an Octavia Estate. Its relatively short height – 51mm lower than a Golf – quash any rumours that this might hint at another SUV in Skoda’s range.
The concept car is only 52mm longer than Skoda’s current Rapid Spaceback, so rather than being a completely new model, the Vision RS might suggest a replacement for the Rapid.
The future of Skoda’s vRS models – called just RS outside of the UK due to trademark rights – was unclear for some time. The badge was first used by Skoda in 1974, but since 2014 the only Skoda that’s worn the vRS letters has been the Octavia. With only one model in the vRS line-up, there were rumours that it may not continue once the current Octavia goes out of production. However, as Skoda has decided to make a performance version of its Kodiaq SUV and call it a vRS – the production car will be unveiled at the Paris motor show, too – and has now released the Vision RS concept, the future of Skoda performance cars and the vRS badge looks to be strong.