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Volkswagen-owned Skoda goes off-roading with the hybrid VisionS concept

The companies that make up the Volkswagen Group collectively offer over half a dozen premium crossovers and SUVs, but the conglomerate’s only volume-focused, high-riding model is the Volkswagen Tiguan. That’s set to change at next month’s Geneva show with the introduction of a thinly-veiled concept that previews Czech Republic-based Škoda’s first crossover.

Called VisionS, the concept ushers in the design language that will influence every upcoming Škoda-badged crossover and SUV. Visually, it takes the Czech company’s sharp design language and adds a rugged twist to it thanks to a tall front end, protective black trim around the wheel arches and on the rocker panels, and a high belt line. It stretches 185 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 66 inches tall, which mean it’s about as big as a BMW X3.

Skoda VisionS concept

Unsurprisingly, the three-row VisionS is all Volkswagen under the sheet metal. It shares its modular MQB platform with the new Tiguan, the seventh-generation Golf, the Euro-spec Passat, and the third-gen Audi TT. Power is provided by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that consists of a turbocharged 1.4-liter TSI engine tuned to deliver 156 horsepower, a lithium-ion battery pack, and a pair of electric motors rated at 54 and 114 horsepower, respectively.

The 54-horsepower motor is built into a six-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission, and the 114-horsepower unit is mounted right over the rear axle. The bigger motor can drive the VisionS’ rear wheels by itself for 31 miles. With all three power sources running, the VisionS returns 125 mpg in a mixed European cycle and it hits 62 mph from a stop in 7.4 seconds, a respectable time for the segment.

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The Škoda VisionS will greet the public for the first time in a few weeks at the Geneva Auto Show.  It’s billed as simply a design study, but sources close to the Czech car maker have revealed that the concept is set to spawn a production model tentatively called Kodiak that will be introduced in the fall at the Paris Auto Show. While Škoda’s first SUV evidently won’t make the trip across the Atlantic, it will share many mechanical components with the production version of Volkswagen’s CrossBlue concept.