we climbed aboard the 7-seater electric SUV

we climbed aboard the 7-seater electric SUV

we climbed aboard the 7-seater electric SUV

Skoda Vision 7S

As part of its range development strategy, Skoda will launch a 7-seater electric SUV, which is emerging today with the Vision 7S. We were able to meet him in preview.

Ever since SUVs replaced single-seaters and other family cars (they replaced everything), 7-seater models have quickly caught the attention of large families. The offer is plethoric (everything is relative), but it remains essentially composed of thermal engines, in particular diesel. And due to their configuration, the sanctions become prohibitive. The only solutions are to switch to a rechargeable, or even electric, hybrid or hybrid solution. But the yard is empty: the Mercedes EQB is the only available representative of this segment.

If not, you will have to be patient. The Tesla Model X, an alternative already known, should one day return to Europe. The 7-seat option on Model Y was never heard of again. The Mercedes EQS SUV will accommodate seven people from a wealthy family. Hyundai and Kia have already expressed their ambitions with the Ioniq 7 and the EV9, which will arrive respectively in 2024 and 2023. Finally, it is Skoda that will occupy the market shortly thereafter with a large SUV announced for 2026. A descendant of the Kodiaq, which currently bears the name of Vision 7S. Encounter !

A new Modern Solid identity

Away from prying eyes in the Czech countryside, the Skoda Vision 7S opens its doors to us in preview without a central pillar. A first approach that allows you to take the full measure of the original 7-seater SUV. As usual, Skoda doesn’t show off with dimensional scales and the SUV is big. Very large, as it shows in its conceptual form a length of 5.16 m, for a wheelbase of 3.05 m. This puts it between a BMW X7 and a Mercedes GLS, the most opulent vehicles on the market!

It is even ahead of the Range Rover, whose inspiration struggles to hide in its lines that implicitly announce those of the production model. A signature that will then be that of Mlada Boleslav’s brand. Less tormented, less energetic, but no more boring, it bears the name of Modern solid. It prefers a smooth surface treatment, which it associates with the new brand identity, as evidenced by the single logo in its entirety in the center of the bonnet. Soft top that, with its shoulders, also evokes that of a Range Rover, while the T-shaped rear optics are disturbingly similar. The look apart with the two presumably Kia Telluride projectors frames a wide but refined Teak-Deck grille, which cannot briefly hide a beautiful Byton M-Byte signature. The style stabilizes and now merges with the mass. In any case, the Vision 7S takes up the cosmetic codes of this segment in its own way, which could suggest that it was on the way to conquer America.

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Style is at the service of aerodynamics with flat surfaces, flush elements (nothing protrudes, except the profiled camera mirrors) and aerodynamic appendages subtly hidden as for modesty. The slots are the entrances to the ventilation circuits, with some lines leading to the brakes, others to the battery. The calories of the latter can be evacuated towards the doors, which hide platforms that allow you to reach the roof more easily. In this smooth universe, however, the SUV indulges in the paradox of large protective shoes. Important and eye-catching with their seven slots, they announce the color. But they are also studying the use of recycled materials, one of the wishes of the Czech brand’s teams.

What if real luxury was space

Here, the Skoda Vision 7S uses rubber from recycled tires, with veneers that are quite hard to the touch. This is not the case with the cabin floor, the softness of the material leaves no doubt about its origins. The advantages are many: the coating is scratch-resistant, easily washable and allows objects to remain in place. Highlighted by the powerful ambient lighting, the resulting fragments from the recycling would make this floor look like a starry floor. The airy feeling is reinforced by the seats without visible supports, the semi-floating center console and the generous volumes on board.

Concept cars explore the unexplored, freeing themselves from all the usual constraints, and each has its own equally conceptual innovations. This means that they can only exist in an imaginary bubble and will necessarily have to deal with industrial, regulatory and financial realities. Those of the Vision 7S? Seven exotic places and the chance to clean up the interior.

Therefore, the Skoda Vison 7S has three rows of two seats, and the seventh place is … a child seat. Last born in the family and at the center of all attention, the child is installed on the center console, back to the road, right in the center of the passenger compartment. According to the Czech manufacturer, this is the safest place in a car. In addition, the rear passengers can have a fixed eye on the child, while a camera installed in the rear center pillar allows them to project the image onto the central shelf.

A new approach to the human-machine interface

Below the rotary buttons (a control module that will be built in series), which control the air conditioning or the infotainment system, there is a button that allows you to switch from Drive mode to Relax mode. When the latter is activated, the front seats rotate towards the center and the rear seats move backwards to allow a view of the center screen. The pedals go all the way down, the dashboard is stowed away, while the central 14.6-inch screen switches from a vertical (vertical) position to a horizontal (horizontal) position. A solution that is already a reality with BYD Han EV.

The infotainment system then offers various dedicated applications, with relaxation programs, games, a reading corner or Netflix. There are many functions that can be controlled with a smartphone coupled to the on-board system, both in the hand and while charging on the induction hob in the center console. With these solutions, Skoda plans to make you spend as much time as possible in its vehicles in the future. Or keep busy when browsing the charging box, an operation that is rarely exciting.

However, the strategy is contradictory, so it confronts the datasheet. Charging times have not been disclosed, but this Vision 7S, which is based on the MEB platform, is capable of aiming for a DC charging power of 200 kW. This places it at the moment in the high-end of the electric basket (Mercedes EQS, BMW i4, etc.), and that it should prove sufficiently high enough to fill the 89 kWh battery as soon as possible. According to the WLTP protocol, the Skoda Vision 7S could aim for 600 km of range in its current form. This would delay on paper the opportunity to truly enjoy all the digital entertainment on board. But what will remain on the production model?

The mass production scheduled for 2026

This is the question that remains unanswered after every presentation of a concept car, whose role is to act as a laboratory for the various departments of a manufacturer, but also to open the window to the future. In terms of style, the Vision 7S promises much more softness in the lines of the brand’s upcoming products. But all the coquetry that the design office has allowed itself could be sacrificed on the altar of industrial and financial realities. Too bad, because, as always, the movement Simply clever dear to the brand is in full swing with all the useful and intelligent attention.

In the technical chapter it promises long life to the MEB platform which obviously has many resources to use to get to the top of the basket in terms of habitability. It remains to be seen whether it will evolve over time and, for example, free up space under the hood to provide perfectly useful stowage space in a family car. According to our prying eyes, the space still seems well occupied by the various mechanical and technical devices.

The data sheet is also interesting and shows the potential for the evolution of the platform. A rather copious charging power and 600 km of autonomy, it seems tempting. At the moment anyway. Because the mass production will not see the light immediately: we will have to wait until 2026 to see the arrival of the electric descendant of the Skoda Kodiaq. It will come after the Karoq (2024) and Kamiq (2025) battery changes.

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