CZECH maker Skoda has launched a new brand name which will be reserved exclusively for its forthcoming range of alternatively-powered and electric cars.
The company is estimating that electrified vehicles will make uparound 25per cent of total sales by 2025 and has created the SkodaiV e-mobility sub-brand to differentiate them from conventionally powered models.
First cars to carry the new badge will come from the top and bottom ends of the Skoda range in the shape of the Citigo iV battery-electric city car and the Superb iV which will be the company's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Both will go into production later this year and will go on sale in 2020.
While it may be as green as they come, Skoda's description of the zeroâemission Citigo iV as a "city speedster" may not go down too well with the safety lobby and may well be something of a misnomer given today's levels of urban congestion and the relatively low 81bhp produced by the electric motor.
Nevertheless, with a high 210Nm of torque on tap, the Citigo iV will accelerate from standstill to 60mph in less than 12.5 seconds and go on to a top speed of just over 80mph.
More importantly Skoda claims a range of 161 miles on a single charge of the 60âAh lithiumâion battery which can be recharged to 80per cent in 1hour using a fast charger.
The firstallâelectric Skoda looks noticeably different to Citigo models with combustion engines, especially at the front. The radiator grille is body-coloured and the front bumper has also been redesigned. The interior has also been revised for the iVversion with a model-unique instrument panel.
The new Superb iV plug-in hybrid - PHEV- will become Skoda's new flagship model available only on higher spec versions of the latest, redesigned Superb range.
It combines a 1.4 litre petrol engine with an electric motor, producing a combined output of 215bhp withemissions of less than 40g/km and an allâelectric range ofup to 34 miles. Skoda claims a total combined range of almost 530 miles. A six-speed DSG auto transmission will be fitted as standard.
Drivers will be able to select from three driving modes - Sport, E-Mode and Hybrid with E-Mode enabling battery power only.