Skoda addresses new EV territory with this sleek Enyak iV Coupe. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Review
Emotive, sporty, elegant. Words that were foreign to the Skoda brand a couple of decades ago but are becoming increasingly apt as the company continues to push itself up-market. This is the marque's smartest and most sophisticated car yet, the Enyaq iV Coupe. A more dynamic take on this marque's first modern era electric vehicle, the Enyaq iV SUV.
An aspirational Skoda? Really? Absolutely. That's what we have here in the form of the brand's Enyaq iV Coupe, an EV with attitude. On the face of things, this is just a more sporty looking version of the Enyaq iV hatch, delivered because the brand programme required it. We've already seen the same thing with the Volkswagen ID.4, which gained a coupe cousin with the ID.5. And the Audi Q4 e-tron, which can be had in alternative Sportback form.
The Enyaq iV Coupe though, is rather more significant for its maker than that. It's the most expensive Skoda ever made, in top vRS form the fastest and, perhaps most significantly, to most eyes it's the most elegant car ever to wear the Czech maker's badge. The company claims it 'perfectly combines emotion with efficiency'. We'll see.
You can of course expect the drive experience to be indistinguishable from that of the normal Enyaq iV SUV. Unlike that standard hatch, you only get one battery option with this Coupe body style - predictably the larger 77kWh one. The conventional model pairs this to a 204PS electric motor on the rear axle and claims a driving range of 339 miles. The alternative twin-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain features in the '80x' version with 265PS: and in the 'vRS' flagship variant (which was the first ever all-electric vRS), which has 299PS and 460Nm of torque. The vRS takes only 6.3 seconds to sprint to 62mph, on the way to a limited top speed of 111mph.
Most Enyaq iV Coupes will be sold in more affordable rear-driven form. In suburbia having the powertrain - the electric motor and its associated single-speed auto gearbox - mounted on the back axle works better, primarily because this frees up the front wheels for steering duties. Which is why the turning circle is a London taxi-like 10.2-metres - better even than the brand's very first EV, the tiny Citigo e iV city car. As a result, this SUV Coupe is superbly manoeuvrable for its size, jinking through traffic hold-ups and darting into spaces. As with other electric vehicles, this one's town travel is characterised by its need to constantly emit a strange 'e-sound', intended to warn pedestrians of its impending approach. You wonder though, why it's necessary for this feature to sound so other-worldly; other brands use film composers to create more pleasant melodies.
Design and Build
Assuming you want a family EV, you'll choose this car of course because of the way it looks. The standard Enyaq iV hatch is quite a smart piece of penmanship but its boxy lines are still somewhat, well, sensible. Just the sort of thing you'd expect from a modern Skoda. But this isn't. There's some real pavement presence here, thanks to the sharply raked roofline from the B-pillar backwards. In a shape that's 4mm longer and 6mm taller than its SUV sibling. With short overhangs, big wheels, strong shoulders and a low roofline, this will look good down at the gym.
Predictably, it's a lot less different inside, where the cabin is pretty much identical to the ordinary Enyaq iV hatch, though Skoda has introduced a number of bespoke design touches and two 'design selection' packages. The fascia's dominated by a central 13-inch infotainment touchscreen, which can also be worked by both voice and gesture control. There's also a further 5.3-inch instrument binnacle display. A further interior highlight is the wonderfully-named optional 'Jumbo Box', which adds 6.2 litres of storage underneath the centre console. In the rear, the swept-back roof doesn't compromise headroom too much - a couple of adults will still be comfortable. And boot space falls by only 15-litres over the ordinary model - to 570-litres. Fold the rear bench and you can increase that to 1,610-litres.
Market and Model
Prices sit just above those of the standard Enyaq iV SUV, which means a span in the £45,000-£55,000 bracket. That equates to a premium over £1,900 over a comparable version of the ordinary Enyaq iV. As you'd hope for that kind of money, equipment levels are pretty generous. Even the base '80' model comes with a full-length fixed panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED front and rear lights, ambient lighting, a satellite navigation system, a rear view camera and a virtual cockpit digital instrument screen. Upgrade to 'SportLine Plus' trim and you get a special 'Sports Design Selection' interior that includes Microsuede and leather upholstery, heated sports seats and carbon-effect decorative inserts. 'SportLine Plus' models are additionally equipped with 20-inch Vega Anthracite metallic alloy wheels and full-LED Matrix beam headlights, plus black trims on the grille and window surrounds. Sports suspension is also fitted as standard, along with progressive steering, Tri-zone climate control, Adaptive Cruise Control and virtual pedal brake regeneration.
The top vRS variant gets a unique, lowered sports chassis and an even more bespoke 'Design Selection' interior reserved solely for this model that features black leather trim and grey contrast stitching. The standard specification also adds vRS bumpers, 20-inch Taurus alloy wheels. and Skoda'sCrystal Face grille. This latter feature (which can be added at extra cost to lesser models) adds 131 twinkling LEDs to the front grille.
Cost of Ownership
This Coupe's swept-back styling delivers a predictably better drag coefficient of 0.234Cd - and it also helps that this Coupe has a marginally lighter weight than the standard SUV version. The result is a marginal improvement in the quoted EV driving range. That's rated at 339 miles for the base '80' version, 332 miles for the '80 Sportline Plus', 317 miles for the '80x Sportline Plus' and 321 miles for the vRS.
At a DC 100kW charging station, it'll take no more than around 29 minutes to recharge a rear-driven Enyaq iV Coupe with enough direct current to replenish the battery from 10 to 80% (it'd be 36 minutes for an AWD model). Back at home, an AC1-phase 7.2kW garage wallbox would replenish any Enyaq iV Coupe from zero to full in about thirteen hours. You can almost halve that time if your property - or business - can support an gutsier AC3 11kW charger. At the other extreme, think in terms of needing to double the 7.2kW garage wallbox charging times we've just quoted if you merely connect to a conventional 3-pin domestic plug.
When you're charging at home in winter, it'll make sense to pre-heat the cabin before use via the provided 'MySkoda' app. The power will be drawn from the charging cable if it's connected and not from the battery. On the move, there's an 'Eco' mode which reduces the power of the climate control system and restricts top speed, enhancing range. It'll also help if you engage the provided 'B' drive mode for maximum brake recuperation performance.
An Enyaq iV Coupe driver will enjoy lower maintenance costs than would be needed for a combustion model - obviously no oil changes are required and regenerative braking means that the brake pads are designed to last the life of the car. There's a fixed servicing schedule, with a basic inspection after two years (unlimited mileage) and subsequent services every year or 18,750 miles. Skoda says that its aim is to make sure that the battery pack lasts as long as the car too and, sure enough, that battery pack is warrantied to have at least 70% of its usable capacity after eight years or 100,000 miles. There's the usual unremarkable three year / 60,000 mile Skoda warranty (only the third year has a mileage limitation). And there's 12 year body protection guarantee, a three year paint warranty and three years of Skoda assistance, which includes European breakdown cover. Insurance groups range from 27E to 36E. And BiK tax rating, as with all EVs, is just 2%.
Arguably, this is the first Skoda with a degree of real desirability - and it won't be the last. We really liked the standard Enyaq iV hatch when we tried it; all the car was lacking was a bit of visual pizzazz - a bit of 'want one' factor, which this Enyaq iV Coupe delivers with aplomb. It's an EV with a confident sense of style, from a brand clearly growing in confidence by the year.
There are of course, as with any EV, lots of sensible reasons why you might want this car. But the value proposition is what is likely to catch your eye when the sums are added up. It'll handsomely undercut its VW Group counterpart EV designs, the Volkswagen ID.5 and the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron. And it'll probably save you money too on the boxier models these two cars are based on, the ID.4 and the Q4 Sportback e-tron. Style at a saving then. That makes sense to us.