HATS off to a manufacturer that cites beer as the inspiration to dabble in electrification.
Although the Enyaq you see here is the first, ground-up electric car the Czechs have ever built, it was a beer truck in 1939 that was the firm’s first EV.
It could haul three tonnes of amber nectar – but not very far.
Recycled plastic bottle fabric, sustainable woollen floor mats and responsibly sourced olive leaf-rubbed leather doubtless didn’t feature in its sales pitch – which of course they do with Skoda’s latest, zero-emission eco-conscious SUV.
With the capacity to transport five people in style and roomy comfort for 256 miles on a single charge, while crucially qualifying for the Government’s £2,500 electric car grant, the stage is set for another Skoda smash hit.
It’s available in two models: the iV60 – which we’re looking at here and which will be the best seller – and a pricier iV80.
If you’re willing to forgo the grant in favour of more power and range, the £40k iV80 will, thanks to it’s upgraded motor and battery combo, deliver 200bhp and take you an impressive 332 miles.
This motor could just be that turning point for many families to finally go electric. So, on to charging times – often the bugbear of the EV. They drop to as little as 35 minutes if you tick the optional rapid charging box and there is a 100kW charging station to hand.
Otherwise you’re looking at juicing that battery to 80 per cent in just under an hour with a more commonly found 50kW supply, or nine and a half hours from a standard home-installed 7.2kW wall box. So, very acceptable then.
And it’s quick off the mark too. It’s also the first rear-wheel driven Skoda since the Nineties. Plus, given its size and considerable weight at over two tonnes, it doesn’t lollop either as you hustle through tight corners, although the brakes could do with a bit more bite on the heavier iV80.
Design-wise, the exterior is assertively angular in places and rocks up to 21in alloys. But it’s the capacious interior that will prove to be the biggest pull.
From its intuitive floating 13in iPad-style touch-screen display to its swoopy, tactile dash and minimal recessed digital binnacle it feels refined and exhaustively considered.
The boot will also swallow a very family-friendly 585 litres without interfering with the generous, flat-floored legroom for those in the back.
There are six different interior trims to choose from, ranging from recycled cloth, a variety of leathers – one having been rubbed with olive leaves – or a touch of Alcantara.
It’s loaded with Skoda’s trademarked “Simply Clever” offerings, including an ice-scraper with tyre tread gauge in the boot door, bag hooks in the boot, double-sided boot liner, smartphone storage pockets on the backs of the front seats and, of course, concealed umbrellas in the both the front doors.
Tech-wise, this future-facing Skoda is very much where it needs to be. There are more safety systems than you could shake a sonic screwdriver at and an impressive new head-up display which features augmented reality projected on to the windscreen.
It also parks itself by controlling the steering and brakes so you can, well, do something less boring instead.
Price: £31,995 (incl. £2,500 grant)
Power: 176hp, 310Nm
0-62mph: 8.4 secs
Top speed: 99mph
Range: 256 miles
The range will be expanded later in the year with special editions, an all-wheel-drive model and a hot vRS version.
But don’t sleep if you think this SUV-cum-MPV crossover could be a fit for your lifestyle.
Remember what happened when the Skoda Yeti came out? They couldn’t keep up with the demand. Just saying.