As part of its range development strategy, Skoda will launch a 7-seater electric SUV, outlined today with the Vision 7S. We were able to meet him in preview.
Ever since SUVs replaced single-seaters and other family cars (in fact, they’ve replaced everything), 7-seater models have quickly caught the attention of large families. The offer is full (everything is relative), but it is still essentially composed of thermal engines, specifically diesel. And because of its configuration, the penalties become prohibitive. The only solutions are to move towards a hybrid or rechargeable hybrid, or even electric solution. But the yard is empty: the Mercedes EQB is the only available representative of this segment.
Otherwise, you will have to be patient. The Tesla Model X, an already known alternative, should return to Europe one day. Nothing is known about the 7-seater option on the Model Y anymore. 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 EV9, which will arrive in 2024 and 2023 respectively. Finally, it is Skoda that will occupy the market a little later with a large SUV announced for 2026. A descendant of the Kodiaq, which currently goes by the name Vision 7S. Meet !
A new Modern Solid identity
Sheltered from prying eyes in the Czech countryside, the Skoda Vision 7S opens its doors for the first time 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 brag about size scales, and the SUV is big. Very large, since it shows in its conceptual form a length of 5.16 m, for a wheelbase of 3.05 m. That puts it between a BMW X7 and a Mercedes GLS, the most opulent vehicles on the market!
It’s even ahead of the Range Rover, whose inspiration struggles to hide in lines that implicitly herald those of the production model. A signature that will later be that of the Mlada Boleslav brand. Less tortured, less energetic, but no more boring, it is named after modern solid. It prefers a smooth surface treatment, which it associates with the new brand identity, as evidenced by the unique logo in its entirety in the center of the bonnet. The hood, with its shoulders, also evokes that of a Range Rover, while the T-shaped taillights are eerily similar. The separate look with the two supposedly Kia Telluride shaped projectors frames a wide, but thin Teak-Deck grille, which cannot briefly hide a fine Byton M-Byte signature. The style settles and now blends into the dough. In any case, the Vision 7S takes up in its own way the aesthetic codes of this segment, which could make one think that it was out to conquer America.
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The style is at the service of aerodynamics with flat surfaces, flush elements (nothing protrudes except for the profiled camera mirrors), and subtly hidden aerodynamic appendages as if by modesty. The slots are the entrances to the ventilation circuits, with some lines going to the brakes, others to the battery. The calories from the latter can be evacuated towards the doors, which hide brackets that allow easier access to the roof. In this fluid universe, however, the SUV indulges in the paradox of large protective shoes. Featured and eye-catching with their seven slots, they announce color. But they are also studying the use of recycled materials, one of the wishes of the Czech brand’s teams.
What if the real luxury was space?
Here, the Skoda Vision 7S uses rubber from recycled tires, with plates 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 origin. The advantages are many: the coating is scratch-resistant, washes easily and allows objects to remain in place. Highlighted by powerful ambient lighting, the fragments resulting from recycling would make this floor look like a starry floor. The feeling of spaciousness is enhanced by the seats without visible supports, the semi-floating center console and the generous volumes on board.
Concept cars explore the unexplored, removing all the usual restrictions, and each has its own conceptual innovations. This means that they can only exist in an imaginary bubble and will necessarily come up against industrial, regulatory and financial realities. Those of the Vision 7S? Seven exotic seats and the ability to clean the interior.
Thus, the Skoda Vison 7S has three rows of two seats, and the seventh seat is… a baby seat. The latest addition to the family and at the center of all eyes, the child sits in the center console, with his 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 keep a permanent eye on the baby, while a camera installed on the rear pillar in the center allows the image to be projected onto the center shelf.
A new approach to the human-machine interface
Beneath the rotary keys (a control module that will come to fruition in series), which control the air conditioning or infotainment system, is a key that allows you to switch from Drive mode to Relax mode. When the latter is activated, the front seats swivel to the center and the rear seats slide back to reveal the center screen. The pedals sink to the bottom, the dashboard stows away, while the 14.6-inch center display flips from a portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) position. A solution that is already a reality with the BYD Han EV.
The infotainment system offers several dedicated applications, with relaxation programs, games, a reading corner or Netflix. So many functions that they can be controlled with a smartphone linked to the on-board system, either in your hand or by charging it 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 you stop by the recharge box, an operation that is rarely exciting.
However, the strategy is contradictory, and then confronts the data sheet. Charging times have not been communicated, but this Vision 7S, which is based on the MEB platform, is capable of targeting a DC charging power of 200 kW. This places it in the high range of the electric basket of the moment (Mercedes EQS, BMW i4, etc.), and it should prove its worth to fill the 89 kWh battery as soon as possible. According to the WLTP protocol, the Skoda Vision 7S could aspire to 600 km of autonomy in its current form. This would postpone on paper the opportunity to really enjoy all the digital entertainment on board. But what will remain of the production model?
Serial realization scheduled for 2026
This is the question that remains unanswered after each presentation of a concept car, whose role is to serve as a laboratory for the different departments of a manufacturer, but also to open the window to the future. As for the style, the Vision 7S promises much more smoothness in the lines of the brand’s upcoming products. But all the flirtatiousness that the design department has indulged in could be sacrificed on the altar of industrial and financial realities. Too bad, because, as always, the movement just smart loved by the brand is in full swing with all the useful and smart attentions.
In the technical chapter, he promises a long life to the MEB platform which obviously has a lot of resources to use to get the top of the basket in terms of habitability. It remains to be seen whether it will manage to evolve over time and, for example, free up space under the hood to provide perfectly usable storage space in a car for family use. According to our prying eyes, the space still seems well occupied by the various mechanical and technical devices.
The technical sheet is also attractive and shows the potential for evolution of the platform. A fairly copious recharge power and 600 km of autonomy, which seems tempting. Currently anyway. Because the production in series 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 arrive after the battery changes of the Karoq (2024) and the Kamiq (2025).
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