84th Geneva International Motor Show

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07.03.2014 - Car Design News Car Design News

Angry Skoda

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The new Vision C Concept that Skoda is showing in Geneva is a beautifully executed ‘five-door coupé’ based on the Ocatavia. Its sharp lines, hard surfacing, and fine detailing echo the crystal theme that Skoda is currently pushing and its connection to the VW Group is undeniable. Its place within that group, however, is increasingly less clear to us, as the Vision C’s incredibly angry face and sporting proportions seem almost to out-Audi Audi. Just a few years ago the world hailed the Skoda brand as a winner largely due to its friendly utilitarian accessibility, and now the brand appears to be throwing that equity away completely in favor of a market position that its own corporate siblings already dominate.

The news of VW’s apparent struggles to create a budget brand to compete with the likes of Dacia and (now) Citroën seem more than ironic given that Skoda largely led the march to that position, held it for years, and then abandoned it to compete with Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Volkswagen itself in the market. None of that takes away from the design of Vision C Concept itself, which is elegantly proportioned, lovingly detailed, and pitch-perfect for the ever-growing “Sedan Coupé” space.

It’s just hard not to be disappointed that such an angry face is the centerpiece of what not so long ago was VW’s last remaining bastion of genuine friendliness.