Thomas Schäfer Skoda Enyaq

The Skoda Enyaq iV was the VW Group’s first MEB platform SUV to be introduced and will be the first to hit our roads from May. We have tested the 80 version, still with some war paint, but finished enough that it is clear to us that the threat to electric rivals – and even the VW ID.4 – is more than serious.

It is not news that Skoda causes headaches for Volkswagen due to the general quality of the Czech brand’s models and its technology, practically the same as that of German cars, but with lower prices for the consumer. It is the strategy of minimums for platforms/engines and maximums in derivatives for different brands that have had such good results in terms of synergies, but that causes a certain embarrassment in terms of marketing.

This Enyaq (a name that joins the Irish word Enya which means the source of life symbolizing a new beginning in the era of electromobility according to the marketing of the Czech brand – with the letter ‘q’ with which the names of all Skoda SUVs) had the audacity to be unveiled worldwide on September 1 before the VW ID.4.

And it will even arrive first on many European and Chinese roads and with even greater anticipation to the Audi Q4 eTron and Seat  Cupra elBorn being one of the 27 100% electric models of the four general brands of the Group VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda based on the MEB electric platform, which will be presented between now and the end of next year. The Enya iV is the first electric vehicle with this technical base to be manufactured outside of Germany, in this case at the Mladá Boleslav plant in the Czech Republic, where 32 million euros were invested so that it could be produced at an estimated rate of 350 units/day on the same assembly line as Octavia and Karoq.

Not far from the KodiaqThe dimensions are very similar to those of the Kodiaq SUV, the Czech top of the range, being just 5 cm shorter and 4 cm lower while the wheelbase (2,765 mm) is the same. The design language follows what we’ve seen in newer models like the Scala, Octavia, and of course, the Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs with lots of edges on the bodywork and optics that add drama to the exterior styling.

The front section is shorter than in the combustion engine models precisely because there are fewer (and less bulky) components under the hood, which contributes to generous interior space and boot space. The front grille is positioned in a more vertical position (with a background of different colors depending on the version, with special emphasis on the Founders Edition launch edition, of which only 1,895 units will be manufactured.

Which was the year of creation of Skoda) and vRS in which the hexagonal grille has chrome carved bars with a lot of crystalline elements and contains 130 LEDs that light up. The same lighting technology (LED headlights) is used, as standard, in both the front and rear light clusters and the matrix light system, which is more powerful and avoids dazzling drivers of cars moving on the road. opposite direction on the road can be ordered as an extra.

The MEB platform allows you to create rear-wheel-drive cars (and this is the first rear-wheel-drive Skoda since the 90s) or 4×4, in the first case with an electric motor on the rear axle, in the second with an electric motor on each axle (which sends energy to the respective wheels). The battery is mounted under the floor, between the axles, so as not to affect habitability or damage the boot, while lowering the car’s center of gravity. The Enya can use three different battery sizes (lithium-ion) 55 kWh (52 useful) in the version (which is not planned for Spain) iV 50 (148 hp, 220 Nm, the autonomy of 340 km); 62 kWh (58) in the iV 60 (179 hp), 310 Nm, 390 km)

82 kWh (77) in the iV 80 (204 hp, 310 Nm, 510 km), all with rear-wheel drive. The two top versions use this last larger battery, but with different levels of performance, benefits, and autonomy, and are the ones that carry the second front electric motor and, consequently, 4×4 traction the Enyaq iV 80x reaches 265 hp / 425 Nm and the Enyaq iV RS raises the bar to 306 hp / 460 Nm, allowing it to achieve truly sporty performance, as evidenced by 6.2 s to go from 0 to 100 km / h (half a second faster than a Porsche Macan, by example),

With a maximum speed of 180 km / h (20 km / h higher than in all other versions). These two more powerful Enyaqs have the same range (460 km) and should combine especially well with the sportier bodywork, with coupe airs (as Audi has already done with its e-Tron Sportback ), which we will see in less than a year.

The suspension is independent on all four wheels (you can choose a Sportline version with 15 mm lower ground clearance at the front and 10 mm at the rear -with design notes and more sporty finishes on the outside and inside- or a version with damping variable electronics), and multi-link at the rear, and there are ventilated discs on all wheels (whose rims can vary between 18 and 21 ), something essential given its high weight (two tons, even from the versions with the smallest battery).

Space as in the Skoda combustion there is a recognized attribute of any Skoda, it is always having a very spacious interior and if we add to that the (technical) propensity for 100% electric cars to be more spacious, it is not difficult to guess that the Enyaq treats its customers well. occupants. More longitudinally (in which it surpasses even the Kodiaq, which is a larger SUV) than transversely, but it will allow five people up to 1.85 meters to travel without any space restrictions.

The absence of a tunnel in the floor in the second row is one of the aspects most appreciated by these passengers but unlike what happens in some SUVs (such as the Kodiaq or rival brands the rear seat cannot move or Back up and the rear seatbacks cannot adjust their tilt which hurts the flexibility of the interior but is a price to pay for installing the electric powertrain. The boot has a capacity of 585 liters and very regular and usable shapes (64 liters more than a Karoq, 165 less than a Kodiaq) and can be extended up to 1,710 liters when the rear seatbacks are folded, but the cargo floor always remains a little inclined.

Functionality is guaranteed another Skoda hallmark with hooks to hold bags, tabs to fold down the backs of the rear seats, 12V socket, automatic opening and closing of the tailgate, and a double compartment bottom where the cable can be stored cargo (which does not fit under the front hood, which means that if the trunk is full it is likely that it will be necessary to remove the volumes above that compartment to access the cable) and gloves to handle it. As is Skoda tradition

inside there are several spaces to store (18 liters depending on the brand) and make life on board more pleasant, be it the large pockets in the doors, the direct ventilation outlets at the rear, the pockets for placing smartphones on the back of the rear seats, the wireless charging tray for two mobile phones, the curtains on the rear windows, the tables on the backs of the seats more common in minivans than in SUVs, etc.

In the front seats, the first impressions are no less impressive. Quite the opposite. Starting with the high quality of materials, finishes, and assembly with surfaces and details that improve as the equipment levels go up there are many Studio, Loft, Lodge, Lounge, Suite, eco suite, RS Suite.

In front of the driver, there is small digital instrumentation (5.3 ) that fits well in the minimalist environment marked by the almost total absence of physical buttons, since almost everything is controlled by the central 13 infotainment screen, the largest ever installed in a Skoda, with the image quality and graphic sophistication that the VW Group has accustomed us to in recent years.

In exchange for 1,660 euros, it is possible to order a head-up display as useful as it is modern, equipped with information projection with augmented reality, a very recent feature that recently debuted in the high-end models of German premium brands. Of course, the Enyaq allows connection to Android and Apple devices, it has a Wi-Fi hotspot and online browsing, although in the latter cases only as extras.
To charge the Enyaq to more than 50 kW you will have to pay an extra

The battery charging can be done at home, but in a plug, the standard will take an eternity about two days. With a Wallbox up to 11 kW, also in alternating current (AC), the time for a full charge will be reduced to 6 to 8 hours depending on the size of the battery. At fast-charging stations’ direct current DC all Enyaqs can be powered at 50 kW.

To charge with more power, you will have to pay an extra (about 500 euros) to be able to go up to 100 kW (in the iV 60) or even 125 kW (in the iV 80), but taking into account that they are cars that always cost more of 39,000 euros said resource should be included as standard. With 125 kW of maximum power, 38 minutes is enough to go from 5 to 80% of the total battery charge.

At the wheel of the Enyaq IV prototype experience behind the wheel of the Enyaq (still as a prototype) took place in Ireland, as a reverence for the origin of the car’s name, as I mentioned earlier. The first impression has to do with good stability, aided by the lowering of the center of gravity due to the placement of the heavy battery under the floor of the car. This also forced the springs and dampers to have slightly stiffer settings, but without compromising ride comfort too much.

The steering seemed precise to me, but it could be a bit more communicative, a criticism that did not surprise Skoda engineers who assured that they would improve in the final versions. The same must be said to the progressivity of the brake pedal, which still had room for improvement, something that we will be able to confirm when the first units arrive on our market at the end of this spring.

Regarding the response of the engine (204 hp / 310 Nm in this rear-wheel-drive iV 80 version), the assessment is quite positive, with that well-known almost instantaneous trigger (in electric cars) from start-up to 80-90 km / h, losing a bit of shine from then on. In any case, less than 9 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h for an SUV that weighs slightly more than tons will be sufficient for the majority of future users.

There are already orders placed for Skoda’s first electric SUV and the first units will be delivered in May, for prices starting at 39,000 euros (iV 60). An interesting figure for an SUV with enough space, with a good boot, range of 390 km, competent behavior, good-level performance (0 to 100 km / h in 8.7 s, 160 km / h), technological sophistication, and convincing quality of materials/finishes.