Skoda Scala G-TEC Unveiled With Frugal Natural Gas Engine
1 July 2019 - motor1
The three CNG tanks and the tiny gasoline tank enable a maximum range of 630 kilometers.
With the recent double release of the Superb iV and the Citigoe iV, Skoda is getting ready for the future in a bid to have 10 electrified models by the middle of the next decade. While bolstering its PHEV and EV portfolio, the Czech marque still believes cars that run on compressed natural gas deserve a place in the automotive realm. Case in point, after unveiling an updated Octavia G-TEC in September 2018, the VW-owned brand is now introducing a CNG-compatible variant of its Rapid-replacing Scala compact hatchback.
Unlike the bigger Octavia, which uses a four-cylinder 1.5-liter engine, the Scala G-TEC relies on a tiny three-cylinder 1.0-liter unit that pumps out a modest 90 horsepower (66 kilowatts) and 160 Newton-meters (118 pound-feet) of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. It's not the type of car to steal the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R's front-wheel-drive Nürburgring record as it has been developed to be as economical as possible while keeping emissions down to a minimum.
The CNG-friendly engine feeds on three linked steel tanks holding 13.8 kilograms (30.4 pounds) of compressed natural gas. That's enough to grant the Scala G-TEC with a CNG range of approximately 410 kilometers (255 miles), while the tiny nine-liter gasoline tank provides an additional 220 km (136 miles). Doing the simple math, it means the eco-friendly hatchback has a total range of 630 km (391 miles).
It's important to mention the new Scala version is not as practical as the conventional models since the three CNG tanks eat into the available cargo capacity. The normal model can swallow up to 467 liters with the rear seats up, but the G-Tec can only accommodate 339 liters, which isn't half bad actually. In fact, Skoda says it's a segment-leading cargo volume for a natural gas car – not that there are many of these on sale in Europe anyway...
Skoda will sell the Scala G-TEC in Active, Ambition, and Style trim levels with disc brakes at both front and rear axles. Partial LED headlights and taillights come as standard, but a full-LED setup is available at an additional cost. As it is the case with the conventionally powered hatchback, the thrifty derivative comes standard with Lane Assist and Front Assist with City Emergency Brake even in entry-level guise.
The new Skoda Scala G-TEC will go on sale in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2019.