How this Skoda helps record a bit of automotive history

Allow me tolerance, if you will, as I engage in a canned story of driving. There’s a reason, believe me.

It all started with steam: people were enthusiastic about the idea of ​​locomotion. Then came this Karl Benz fellow (1885); He built the world’s first vehicle with an internal combustion engine and completed his first four-wheeled car in 1891.

For some a terrible beauty was born; for others it was opening the world to the common people. Cars and views have changed over the decades; Henry Ford made sure of that with the Model T, Volkswagen with the Beetle, Alec Issigonis with the Mini and so on.

Gasoline became the energy source of choice and automobiles sucked up the stuff by the millions of gallons a year.

With each new step, more motorists got more. We have now become the More Generation because we get so many items: from phones to vacuum cleaners. Why no cars?

I think the advent of the electric car is accelerating expectations. Design can be bolder because the mass allocated to internal combustion engines is gone, leaving designers and engineers to create wonderful-looking vehicles and innovative interiors. Our electric vehicles are becoming computers on wheels.

And the history of electric vehicles is easy to depict. There were a few in the late 1800s, but they never took off. Gasoline has become more readily available over the years, so electric vehicles have continued to live in the global warming shadow of internal combustion engines.

So many people, until relatively recently, wrote off the chances that electrics would ever make sense in the mainstream. Now it’s the other way around. Otherwise there is little mainstream sense.

EVs, regardless of how they’re fueled, are here to stay – to save the planet. And we’re already demanding more from them.

Many of us wish for the ability of an electric vehicle to drive like clockwork and still keep its tailpipes clean.

I’m not talking about big fancy electric cars from Mercs, Beemers or Audis. No, Volkswagen and Skoda will also be forced to fight for positions in the performance races. In truth, like others, they set and follow the public agenda for driving.

Just one of several examples I’ve driven is Skoda’s new Enyaq 80X fully electric battery electric vehicle (BEV). This is nothing spectacular in many ways, except that it has plenty of power (265 hp) and all-wheel drive. It’s an increasingly familiar package: SUV looks, family room, power and grip.

The 80X encapsulates how quickly tastes and expectations grow. Its big selling points, aside from the excellent space and reasonable price, are the large 77 kWh battery and all-wheel drive. I have to say its 6.9s to 100km/h felt like a few seconds faster. An ordinary Skoda EV that’s also an SUV (the entry-level Enyaq has a 58 kWh battery; this one has the 77 kWh package) isn’t enough for many. You want the works. That gives you a good measure of it.

There’s a higher price to pay in terms of acquisition and possibly energy consumption as it’s tempting to drive enthusiastically. In addition, AWD can draw more power than a traditional front- or rear-wheel drive version. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose of EVs that cost less to run, right?

Well, it’s only fair to point out that AWD is a great thing for slippery roads or when going fast on twisty tracks, as it can add grip and power to all four wheels.

And the extraordinary thing about this AWD version is that it can only use the rear axle electric motor and completely switch off the front one. Normally, AWD allows both axles some power, but not here. That’s no small feat, because when it’s off it’s really off, not just a power-sapping half-idle passenger.

Speaking of passengers: it has a lot of space inside, a good trunk and excellent seating. But I would slowly reach for the brown/orange leather upholstery, which gives the interior a luxurious feel.

I definitely would have liked power front seats; The plasticky manual setting lets it down (see what I mean by that, hard to please?) and I thought there was quite a wheel-travel clack over the increasingly spilled urban roads I traversed.

But against the backdrop of the automobile’s long journey into the electric age, the Enyaq X80 shows as well as any how far the company, and EVs in general, have come in a short period of time. Another chapter of automotive history is being written before our eyes

FACT FILE: Skoda Enyaq iV 80X

:: EV with four-wheel drive; 77 kWh battery, 265 hp, €120 road tax.

:: The specification included a reversing camera, front/rear parking sensor and a wide range of safety technologies and driver assistance systems.

:: Recuperation paddle on the steering wheel. Alleged range up to 496 km.

:: The 80X test car version had leather upholstery.

:: Entry-level version from €51,286.

:: The tested model with options costs 64,180 euros. How this Skoda helps record a bit of automotive history

Fry Electronics Team

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