The Enyaq's SSP platform is set to eventually underpin 80% of VW Group cars
Speaking to Autocar at the unveiling of the new Kodiaq, Skoda CEO Klaus Zellmer confirmed that Skoda will start using the SSP platform – set to eventually underpin 80% of VW Group cars – towards the end of the decade, with the replacment for the Enyaq – not yet named – the first to make the switch from the current MEB platform.
Skoda’s first SSP car will arrive in 2028 or 2029, he revealed, at around the same time as Volkswagen uses the architecture for an electric successor to the Golf.
“This is when the Enyaq [replacement] – which, by the way, will be built in Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic – will be on SSP,” said Zellmer. Asked if it will be tangibly different from today’s car, Zellmer would only say: “We are still working on that.”
Given the success of the current Enyaq iV – Skoda’s first bespoke electric car – the brand is unlikely to stray too far from the formula as it gears up to launch a replacement model.
Last year, Skoda shipped nearly 54,000 Enyaqs and recorded a 41% year-on-year increase in the first half of this year, during which period the Enyaq was Europe’s ninth-best-selling electric car.
Expect a trademark focus on practicality to remain the prevailing theme but also for the second-gen Enyaq to adopt a radical new look in line with Skoda’s rugged ‘Modern Solid’ design ethos, which will make it an obvious sibling to the upcoming Space BEV electric seven-seater.
The next Enyaq will also benefit from wide-reaching technological advances due to be rolled out to VW Group production cars in the coming years.
The SSP structure – a highly adaptable modular architecture that can host various drivetrains and batteries according to the needs of each VW Group manufacturer – promises drastic improvements in range, efficiency, power and affordability compared with the current MEB structure, which is used by EVs from VW, Skoda, Cupra and Audi.
Chief among the technical changes is the introduction of a new ‘Unified’ battery structure, developed in-house, which will be shared across most VW Group model lines in the name of scale-led cost savings.
Early details suggest 800V compatibility will give a 10-80% charging time of as little as 12 minutes on average – compared with around 35 minutes for the current Enyaq – but specific capacities and ranges have yet to be confirmed.
VW Group CEO Oliver Blume has previously suggested that this new modular approach – under which a much higher percentage of components will be shared between cars and brands – means “most” SSP-based EVs can achieve cost parity with current combustion cars.
So it is reasonable to expect that the next Enyaq will come down in price to roughly match the five-seat Kodiaq. Another crucial upgrade for the SSP era will be the introduction of a new software stack, dubbed 2.0, which will bring – among other usability and functionality upgrades – the capacity for hands-free driving up to level four.
Q&A with Klaus Zellmer, Skoda CEO
Will the new Kodiaq be as popular as the last one?
“We’re hoping it will outsell the previous one, but the equation is different today compared to 2016: we’re adding battery-electric vehicles; we’re adding complexity; we’re adding subsidies; we’re adding tax advantages… So let’s see how that plays out, but with a plug-in hybrid version with an EV range of 100km [62 miles], you have a fair chance to capture an audience that potentially has range anxiety and isn’t fully buying into battery-electric vehicles because they [the drivers] go long distance.”
Is Skoda going after the premium players with its top-end cars?
“That is not our declared objective, but of course we grow with the market, and with our customers and their expectations when it comes to haptics, quality, function and intuitive design like the ‘smart dials’. At the end of the day, it’s value for money – and I think this equation for Skoda was always important: you get a lot of value for your money, which doesn’t mean you’re always the cheapest.”
When will we see Skoda’s electric city car?
“In the first half of next year we’re going to show the Elroq, so that’s the next battery-electric vehicle we will reveal. We don’t see the necessity to pull the cloth off the A-0 BEV, but customer clinics are very promising… It would be too early to show the car now because it won’t be available before 2025.”