As day follows night it was inevitable that Skoda would not only enter the burgeoning electric vehicle market but would bring to it something a bit different, a bit sporty.
It has an impressive record among rallying and racing drivers and enthusiasts and any Skoda carrying the vRS badge is always a bit special. Enter the Enyaq iV vRS Coupe.
The Enyaq iEV first appeared as an SUV in 2020 but Skoda added the vRS Coupe derivative to link with its sporting history at the end of 2022.
Our hyper £57k green test car was equipped with £2,700 of extras including electric comfort seat pack; 21-inch black metallic painted wheels; infotainment package plus with head-up display; heated/ cooling seats and heated windscreen and high quality Canton sound system. The Enyaq all-electric range starts from £38,970 for the iEV60
The vRS Coupe gets a second electric motor to raise total power to 299hp with 460Nm of torque performance and with it came all-wheel-drive for better grip on wintry roads and tauter handling.
Calling it a Coupe may appear to be a trick to the eyes because it, to a lot of people, may resemble an SUV with only a subtle sliding difference to the roofline. Whatever you think it is really brisk from breakaway with strong pull almost instantly and it can easily keep up with motorway traffic if you have a healthy amount of current keeping up the battery level underneath.
A driver can select about five different modes from eco to individual to tailor to taste and needs and it will not disappoint in any of them.
Skoda say the vRS Coupe range is towards the top end of 340 miles but in reality we used a combination of Eco and Sport modes and calculated our range was much closer to 250 miles with a couple of boosts during our time with the car. It comes with both three-pin domestic cable and fast charge line and at its best can go from zero to 80% in a little over an hour.
The performance is good; it’s delivered very smoothly and silently without any jerkiness and it steers and brakes with confidence. Just lifting off the throttle is enough to dramatically drag down speed without pressing the brake pedal, but if you do the stopping power is really impressive.
We had three instances of odd behaviour however. At 60mph on a motorway the car suddenly slowed without any reason and it happened at the same location each time and we deduced the system “saw” the roundabout junction underneath the motorway and believed we were heading towards it so safety settings cut in, but unexpectedly and needlessly in these instances.
The nicely balanced steering with good feedback and little effort and strong brakes were matched by very precise secondary switches for wipers/ washers front and back, and headlights, but sometimes the automatic setting was slow responding and produced flashes from oncoming vehicles.
The car’s very big, bright and clear instruments in front of the driver and the accompanying large infotainment screen never left you in doubt about what was happening but the latter was sometimes slow to respond to input selection and could be fiddly to set up so not easy to use when driving, even being a dangerous distraction.
Heating and ventilation settings were straightforward to pick, output was strong and fairly quiet, their range inside the cabin was impressive and backed by powered windows.
Oddments room was very good throughout with lots of compartments, pockets, bins and trays for items and drinks to be placed by a busy family car and the boot space with provision for cables’ storage was very generous even before dropping the rear seatbacks. The boot floor was low, wide and deep to take bigger items.
Access to the cabin was as easy with wide opening big doors and once inside the seats were very well shaped and supportive with lots of head and legroom and on the test car the powered driver’s seat was widely adjustable.
Vision was clear all round despite the sloping rear roofline and the big windows with effective washers and wipers, while the high performance LED beams really saw a long way down the road before a flasher was confronted.
Noise levels were extremely low and being an ev it meant the road rumbles and suspension bump-thump were the most obvious sources with only a trace of wind wuffle around the big door mirrors.
The high equipment levels were fully in keeping with a performance coupe and Skoda has provided a lot of choice to cherry pick what you prefer for your lifestyle.
In handling terms it felt very safe and the ride quality was very good but at the same time it struggled to be agile on twisting roads and the AWD system would be a boon on wintry roads but possibly not as fun to drive as a rear wheel drive rival.
At the end of the day, there is no denying this Skoda is possibly the best in the current range and beats many rivals in important areas as the sun goes down on the petrol and diesel market over the next few years.
Skoda Enyaq iV vRS Coupe
Mechanical: Max 299ps/ 220kW motor 77kWh battery, automatic transmission, AWD
Max Speed: 111 mph
0-62mph: 6.4 sec
Range: 250 miles
Insurance Group: 36E
C02 emissions: Zero g/km
Tax costs: Bik rating 2%, VED road tax £ZeroFY, £ZeroSR
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
Size: L4.66m, W1.88m, H1.63m
Bootspace: 570 to 1610 litres
For: Striking styling outside and in, very roomy, quick and composed, lots of equipment and high tech, very good ride with good controls, all-wheel-drive
Against: Expensive to buy and run, average warranty, didn’t feel agile due to heavy weight of powertrain, fiddly and complex infotainment system. By Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency