Volkswagen had recently declared an investment of 1 billion euro (around Rs 7,900 crore) over the next three years as part of their latest strategy to enhance their presence in India. And the charge for that will be led by Volkswagen’s subsidiary firm Skoda auto. Skoda, of course, has had a fairly extended presence in the country now and is a well recognised, if not very necessarily popular brand with consumers today.
As a part of its ‘India 2.0’ project, Skoda Auto is setting up an engineering, design and development centre at Pune besides enhancing capacities of the group’s two existing plants at Aurangabad and Pune. Its expansion strategy will see the company looking at 2020 to bring in its first electric vehicle to the Indian market. The manufacturer’s first EV will be a production version of the Vision E concept that was extremely well received at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Sources close to the company claim that Skoda has already begun planning of the RS (Rally Sport) versions of their electric vehicles. With considerable time to go before the company releases its first electric vehicle in the market, the company has set in motion the chain of events for the development of RS versions of their EVs. This comes from the proud history of the company, which has always been known for its highly desirable RS versions of its mainstream models.
Alain Favey, Skoda’s board member for sales and marketing, while addressing the press said, “The logic is the same – it’s not about performance as such. Our most powerful engine is 245 bhp so by any stretch of the imagination we’re not talking about challenging Ferrari.”
He then added, “It’s about the look, it’s about the sporty feeling when you’re driving the car, it’s about the seats, it’s about the experience and I think that’s what our customers like. It’s about the experience and that’s something we can do very well in our future electric cars. Definitely, we will have RS versions of our electric cars (likely to be named eRS) – it’s part of our brand.”
According to speculative reports so far, Skoda will only offer a single battery output with its EV. Which indicates that any eRS version will primarily focus on handling and aesthetic enhancements rather than offering seriously upgraded performance. The cars, however, will be fitted with high-performance batteries with as much as 300 miles expected from a full charge. But this will come at quite a cost, as it’s expected to start at about £30,000 or ₹26,00,000 ($39,000, or €33,500).