What is it?
Skoda’s vRS models have always walked a meticulous line between added performance and everyday usability. Cars like the Octavia vRS have shown themselves to be very capable to drive, but equally just as good to live with on a day-to-day basis. They have, however, always felt a little bit ‘more’ than just a standard model.
So it was only a matter of time until Skoda gave the vRS treatment to its flagship Enyaq iV electric SUV. Incorporating a range of changes inside and out could be the start of a new shift for Skoda and vRS? Let’s find out if that’s the case.
The Enyaq vRS is designed to sit at the very top of the range. Here, we’re looking at it in standard SUV form, though you can also get it as a sleek-looking Coupe-styled version which brings a slight boost in range without too much cutback in practicality.
And in typical vRS fashion, the external changes aren’t all that dramatic. Yes, it comes with Skoda’s slightly ‘look-at-me’ Crystal Face – which incorporates LED bars into the front grille – but there aren’t too many aesthetic tweaks to differentiate it from the standard Enyaq. It’s subtle, even by vRS standards – there aren’t even any sporty badges on the boot, which is something we feel most buyers would want.
What’s under the bonnet?
Though the regular Enyaq iV can be equipped with a variety of motor and battery setups, the vRS gets just one. Its 295bhp twin-motor setup makes it the most powerful Skoda on sale today and results in a 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds. It’s around 35bhp more than you’ll get in the next most-powerful Enyaq and brings a 0.6 second saving off the 0-60mph time, too.
In terms of range, Skoda says that the Enyaq vRS’ 77kWh battery will bring a range of up to 321 miles, while the ability to charge at speeds of up to 135kW (the same as the standard Enyaq) means that a 0-80 per cent charge could be completed in around 35 minutes at a rapid charger. You’re looking at around 13 hours for a 0-100 per cent charge at a 7.2kW home wallbox, too.
What’s it like to drive?
Skoda’s vRS models traditionally differentiate themselves from the rest of the range through their heightened performance and sharper more focused handling. There’s not quite the same level of difference with the Enyaq, however, as in vRS form it doesn’t feel noticeably perkier compared with the next most-powerful version.
The ride, though 15mm lower at the front and 10mm at the rear, is the same as you’ll find on Sportline models and still remains troubled by low-speed bumps and potholes, just as it does on the non-vRS model. At a cruise it’s excellent, mind you, and at higher speeds the Enyaq feels noticeably quiet and refined. There just doesn’t seem to be too much of ‘vRS feel’ – it’s just like a regular Enyaq (which is already very good) but with an ounce more power.
How does it look?
The Enyaq gets a light dusting of vRS-specific touches to help differentiate its look from the rest of the range. There are the badges on the flank, while the eye-catching ‘Hyper Green’ colour is reserved for vRS models only. The bumpers have been redesigned, too, and at the rear there’s a full-width red reflective strip which is a signature touch on all vRS cars across Skoda’s range.
As mentioned, the ‘Crystal Face’ comes fitted as standard – and it’s definitely a talking point – with its 131 individual LEDs giving the front of the car a futuristic feel. All cars get 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, though you can upgrade them to 21s should you want. It seems odd to have no rear vRS badging, though, and it could’ve even been integrated into Skoda’s iV electric badge too.
What’s it like inside?
You can get the Enyaq vRS in one of two interior specifications – Lounge and Suite. The former brings black Alcantara and lime-coloured piping, while Design has a more traditional focus with black perforated leather seats and grey contrast stitching. We’d argue that Lounge brings the sportier feel, with the standard-fit bucket seats proving to be both brilliantly supportive and great to look at as well. Everything, as we’ve found in the regular Enyaq, is fitted together brilliantly with good material quality across the board.
Boot capacity remains unaffected in the vRS, so you’ve got a healthy 585 litres to play with, rising to 1,710 litres if you fold the rear seats down. Rear-seat legroom is good, too, while headroom will prove more than plentiful for most.
What’s the spec like?
Prices for the Enyaq vRS start from £52,670, which interestingly is only £905 than the next most-expensive ‘regular’ version – the 80x Sportline Plus – which also receives a dual-motor setup but doesn’t have the extra power of the vRS. So if you were looking at a Sportline Plus, we’d argue it’d be worth pushing up to the vRS. That Crystal Face is a £2,035 option on the Sportline Plus, too, so if you’re madly keen on having it then it’d be cheaper just to trump for the vRS.
However, if you’re not desperate to have all-wheel-drive, then the regular ‘80’, which has more range than the vRS – albeit less power – is £3,765 cheaper and still gets all the same luxuries, including heated seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as 20-inch alloy wheels.
The Enyaq vRS leaves us feeling a little perplexed. It feels, in truth, more like a tip-top trim level as opposed to a dedicated performance model. Whereas the Octavia, for example, feels noticeably different in vRS form to the standard car, the Enyaq’s transition isn’t quite as pronounced. This could be a tricky act to pull off across the EV segment as a whole, mind you, as you only need to fit a new exhaust to a petrol-powered car to elevate the experience, but that’s not an option on an electric vehicle.
There have been tweaks made here and there, but the biggest problem that the vRS has is that the standard Enyaq is already so accomplished. Think of it more as a specification rather than an outright performance model, though, and the vRS fits its role at the top of the Enyaq range.