Skoda’s long-awaited Enyaq SUV has rolled out in Europe and the UK. The brand’s first battery electric vehicle to be based on the Volkswagen Group’s modular electric vehicle (MEB) platform, the Enyaq promises a complete EV package – with a sharp SUV styling, low starting price, long range, fast charging, and the practicality and clever touches that Skoda owners love.
With the basic model on sale in the UK at a snip above £30,000 ($A54,600) after the British government’s plug-in car grant, yet offering a claimed 390km of range on a single charge, the Enyaq could give established volume EVs such as the Kia e-Niro, Nissan Leaf or, dare we say, the Tesla Model 3 a run for their money.
It’ll also provide plenty of competition for its in-house rivals, sister brand Volkswagen’s ID.3 hatch and ID.4 SUV.
Not yet for Australia
Australia is slowly gaining its own collection of EVs on sale, but it plays second or perhaps even third fiddle to the infinitely larger European markets – a case in point when it comes to Skoda’s Enyaq.
While Skoda Australia says the Enyaq is “certainly regarded as desirable” there is no news regarding a local launch or even consideration for showrooms.
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If Skoda’s greenest vehicle to date is given the green light to come Down Under, it’s unlikely to be before 2022 and not until the larger markets have been given first dibs.
What’s with the name?
It’s the usual Skoda nomenclature that disobeys English grammar, but at least it’s consistent. The Enyaq name is derived from the Irish words Eithne and Enya, meaning source of life. Appropriate, as this SUV is the pioneer of Skoda’s all-electric line-up.
What battery does it have?
The Enyaq will sit on the VW Group’s MEB platform. Also known as the Modular Electrification Toolkit, this collection of components will underpin just about every new EV any of the Volkswagen Group brands build.
In Skoda’s case, it’s opted for a choice of two battery packs, 62kWh or 82kWh in capacity.
The base 62kWh model – named the Enyaq iV 60 – pairs that battery with a 133kW electric motor and rear-wheel drive. That’s good for 0-100km/h in 8.7 seconds, and a WLTP combined range of 390 kilometres.
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The next rung on the latter is the iV 80, with a more powerful 1576kW electric motor good for 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds and an impressive range of 510km.
Later on, two further models will join the range. The iV 80x gains all-wheel drive, courtesy of a second electric motor bringing total power output to 195kW and bringing 0-100km/h down to just 6.9 seconds. The RS performance model, meanwhile, ups that once more to 225kW. It’ll make the milestone 100km/h dash in 6.2 seconds. Both of these models have a WLTP range of 459km.
All models are limited to a top speed of 159km/h, apart from the RS, which has a higher limit of 178km/h.
Rapid charging with a 50kW charge rate is standard – but customers will be able to spec higher 100kW or 125kW charge rates as options. The highest of these should mean a 10 percent to 80 percent charge in just 38 minutes.
Skoda’s gone a bit BMW with that grille…
That crystalline motif Skoda’s been sneaking into its headlights of late? It comes to a head with the Enyaq.
The car’s overall shape is very familiar – it looks rather like a Karoq with a more upright tailgate and larger wheels – but with a blank canvas to play with at the front, the Enyaq’s designers have gone a bit mad with the grille.
It’s larger than ever, with a surround that connects to the headlights at either end, and all but the base model will enjoy 130 LEDs illuminating its vertical slats.
It’s undeniably effective, though it’s limited to just top-end Founder’s Edition models. A slightly less ostentatious option will be available if customers want it – the basic car gets a plain version.
The interior’s very much a step forward as well, taking the new cleaner button-lite environment found in the latest Octavia and stepping it up with a massive 13.0-inch touchscreen dominating the centre console.
Like the Octavia, the Enyaq looks to be immensely practical. There’s a massive, 585-litre load bay, and the back seat appears spacious – if a bit compromised by the high floor.
The Skoda digital assistant, Laura, is present and correct, as are a digital dashboard, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a companion app capable of remotely scheduling, charging or pre-conditioning the climate control.
How much is it going to cost?
Skoda’s revealed UK pricing so far for the iV 60 and iV 80 in their rear-wheel drive forms. Rather excitingly, the range kicks off at just $33,450 ($A60,885) or £30,450 ($A55,425) after the plug-in car grant, which wouldn’t apply to Australian sales.
That price gets you an iV 60 with ‘Loft’ interior spec – bringing the biggest screen, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and keyless start, a combination of fabric and artificial leather seats with brushed aluminium trim inserts.
Further upgrades option it to ‘Suite’ specification, adding full leather trim and piano black décor, or ‘Lounge’, with light grey leather and mustard yellow stitching.
Enyaq iV 80 models start from £35,950 ($A65,400) and add front parking sensors and a rear-view camera, plus built-in navigation. The same packs can be applied.
The current range tops off with the 80 Founders Edition, which comes in at £46,995 ($A85,500). In addition to the illuminated grille it features 21-inch alloy wheels, black leather interior trim and 125kW charging as standard.