Skoda Vision 7S: we boarded the 7-seater electric SUV

As part of its range development strategy, Skoda will launch a 7-seater electric SUV, which is emerging today with the Vision 7S. We were able to meet him in preview.

Ever since SUVs have replaced single-seaters and other family cars (in fact, they’ve replaced everything), 7-seater models have quickly caught the eye of large families. The offer is plethoric (everything is relative), but remains essentially composed of thermal engines, in particular diesel. And because of their configuration, the penalties become prohibitive. The only solutions are to move towards a hybrid or rechargeable hybrid, or even electric solution. But the yard is empty: the Mercedes EQB is the only available representative of this segment.

Otherwise, you will have to be patient. The Tesla Model X, an already known alternative, should return to Europe one day. The 7-seater option on the Model Y has not been heard from anymore. The Mercedes EQS SUV will accommodate seven people from a wealthy family. Hyundai and Kia have already expressed their ambitions with the Ioniq 7 and EV9, which would arrive in 2024 and 2023 respectively. Finally, it is Skoda which will occupy the market a little later with a large SUV announced for 2026. A descendant of the Kodiaq, which currently bears the name of Vision 7S. Meet !

A new Modern Solid identity

Sheltered from prying eyes in the Czech countryside, the Skoda Vision 7S opens its doors to us in preview without a central pillar. A first approach that allows you to take the full measure of the original 7-seater SUV. As usual, Skoda doesn’t show off with size scales, and the SUV is big. Very large, since it displays in its conceptual form a length of 5.16 m, for a wheelbase of 3.05 m. That puts it between a BMW X7 and a Mercedes GLS, the most opulent vehicles on the market!

It is even ahead of the Range Rover, whose inspiration struggles to hide in its lines which implicitly announce those of the production model. A signature which will then be that of the brand of Mlada Boleslav. Less tortured, less energetic, but not more boring, it bears the name of Modern Solid. It favors a smooth surface treatment, which it associates with the brand’s new identity, as evidenced by the unique logo in full in the center of the bonnet. Hood which, with its shoulders, also evokes that of a Range Rover, while the rear T-shaped optics are disturbingly similar. The look apart with the two projectors supposedly Kia Telluride way frames a wide, but fine Teak-Deck grille, which cannot briefly hide a fine signature of Byton M-Byte. The style settles down and now blends into the mass. In any case, the Vision 7S takes up in its own way the cosmetic codes in this segment, which could lead it to think that it was setting out to conquer America.

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The style is at the service of aerodynamics with flat surfaces, flush elements (nothing protrudes, except for the profiled camera mirrors), and aerodynamic appendages subtly hidden as if out of modesty. The slots are the entrances to the ventilation circuits, with some lines leading to the brakes, others to the battery. The calories of the latter can be evacuated towards the doors, which hide running boards which make it possible to reach the roof more easily. In this smooth universe, however, the SUV allows itself the paradox of large protective shoes. Prominent and flashy with their seven slots, they announce the color. But they are also studying the use of recycled materials, one of the wishes of the teams of the Czech brand.

What if the real luxury was space

Here, the Skoda Vision 7S uses rubber from recycled tires, with veneers that are rather hard to the touch. This is not the case with the floor of the cabin, the softness of the material leaves no doubt about its origins. The advantages are multiple: the coating is scratch-resistant, easily washable and allows objects to stay in place. Highlighted by the powerful ambient lighting, the fragments resulting from recycling would make this floor look like a starry floor. The airy feeling is reinforced by the seats without visible supports, the semi-floating center console and the generous volumes on board.

The concept cars explore the unexplorable, getting rid of all the usual constraints, and each has its own equally conceptual innovations. This means that they can only exist in an imaginary bubble, and will necessarily be confronted with industrial, regulatory and financial realities. Those of the Vision 7S? Seven exotic seats and the ability to clean up the interior.

Thus, the Skoda Vison 7S has three rows of two seats, and the seventh place is… a baby seat. The latest addition to the family and at the center of all attention, the child is installed on the center console, back to the road, right in the middle of the passenger compartment. According to the Czech manufacturer, this is the safest place inside a car. In addition, the rear passengers can have a permanent eye on the baby, while a camera installed in the rear pillar in the center allows the image to be projected on the central shelf.

A new approach to the human-machine interface

Below the rotary keys (a control module that will come to fruition in series), which control the air conditioning or the infotainment system, there is a key that allows you to switch from Drive mode to Relax mode. When the latter is activated, the front seats swivel towards the center and those in the rear move back to provide a view of the central screen. The pedals sink to the bottom, the dashboard is stored, while the 14.6-inch central screen goes from a portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) position. A solution that is already a reality with the BYD Han EV.

The infotainment system then offers several dedicated applications, with relaxation programs, games, a reading corner or Netflix. So many functions that can be controlled with a smartphone coupled to the on-board system, whether in the hand or charging on the induction hob in the center console. With these solutions, Skoda plans to make you spend as much time as possible in its vehicles in the future. Or keep busy when you go through the recharge box, an operation that is rarely exciting.

However, the strategy is contradictory, and then confronts the technical sheet. The charging times have not been communicated, but this Vision 7S, which is based on the MEB platform, is capable of aiming for a DC charging power of 200 kW. This puts it in the upper range of the electric basket at the moment (Mercedes EQS, BMW i4, etc.), and which should prove sufficiently up to fill the 89 kWh battery as soon as possible. According to the WLTP protocol, the Skoda Vision 7S would be able to aim for 600 km of autonomy in its current form. This would postpone on paper the opportunity to really enjoy all the digital entertainment on board. But what will remain on the production model?

The realization in series planned for 2026

This is the question that remains unanswered after each presentation of a concept car, whose role is to serve as a laboratory for the various departments of a manufacturer, but also to open the window to the future. In terms of style, the Vision 7S promises much more softness in the lines of the brand’s next products. But all the coquetry that the design department allowed itself could be sacrificed on the altar of industrial and financial realities. Too bad, because, as always, the movement Simply Clever dear to the brand is in full swing with all the useful and intelligent attentions.

In the technical chapter, it promises a long life to the MEB platform which obviously has many resources to use to get the top of the basket in terms of habitability. It remains to be seen whether it will manage to evolve over time and, for example, free up space under the hood to provide perfectly useful storage space in a car for family use. According to our prying eyes, the space still seems well occupied by the various mechanical and technical devices.

The technical sheet is also attractive and shows the potential for the evolution of the platform. A rather copious recharging power and 600 km of autonomy, that seems tempting. At present anyway. Because the realization in series will not see the light of day immediately: it will be necessary to wait until 2026 to see the arrival of the electric descendant of the Skoda Kodiaq. It will arrive after the battery replacements of the Karoq (2024) and the Kamiq (2025).

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