The Skoda Enyaq vRS's grille makes it look like the baddie from 'Cars'
The Enyaq’s grille had been bugging me for ages. It reminded me of something. I was visiting my car-mad nephew, out came the toys and there, amongst the carpet scrapyard of Hot Wheels was the trigger. Chick Hicks. Of course. The ‘baddie’ from Cars. Same slabby black grille as the Enyaq. A Burt Reynolds-style lip slug for Chick, but something rather different for our oversized Stabilo: a lighting opportunity.
I’ve previously described it as a diamante moustache and it’s one of the things that, knowing the car well now, most jars with me. Does a Skoda really need a set of LEDs that dance and display like a Disney parade? Because that’s what it does. You unlock and it goes into the full high-kicking, jazz hands, stage set and musical number. Front and back. Loads of cars do this of course, but their designers know enough to ensure the light display suits the brand. For instance, Audis and Mercs do something dazzling and technical, Bentleys are slower and more muted. Skoda… just because you can put Fantasyland between the headlights doesn’t mean you should.
And then I read about something much cleverer that Skoda was working on: using the grille as a display area to let pedestrians know what’s going on. As part of a road safety trial Skoda has come up with a grille that provides at-a-glance information.
Boil it down and what we have is guidance for pedestrians where red = stop, green = go, but Skoda is also working on symbols and patterns that would convey more information about what the car is up to, whether it’s about to move off, if it’s unable to stop, that sort of thing. Friendly, helpful information, in other words. Just the sort of thing Skoda should be working on. Everything the diamante moustache isn’t.
In other news economy has been improving. Which means I’m no longer irritated about range. At the start of the year, averaging 2.7mpkWh (which meant 200 miles at a push) I was looking for chargers after 150 miles. About every two hours. Now I’m regularly getting 3.5mpkWh, which means a theoretical max of 270 miles and another hour at the wheel before planning my next stop.
They vary. I had highs and low in one day recently. In and out of Watford for a meeting in the morning, I thought I’d grab a cheeky charge that would then get me up to Aston Martin in the Midlands that afternoon. I found a 50kW charger on ZapMap that, despite its 1 star rating, said it was charging a minute before. Should have checked the images. I get there, it’s a scrapheap dalek, overgrown and with cables scattered around like entrails. Not pretty. So instead, post-Aston, I find myself having to charge rather than make it home for dinner. This is made inordinately better by the Instavolt at Banbury. Swathes of 150kW fast chargers that hose electrons in so fast I’ve barely got an excuse to dine at the café next door.