Skoda at Frankfurt: MissionL accomplished?

If the rumours coming out of Frankfurt are anything to go by, the MissionL is a glimpse into Skoda’s future. As the company gears up for an ambitious global sales target of 1.5 million cars by 2018, the concept shown in Frankfurt is said to closely resemble that of the new car that will slot in between the Fabia and Octavia. In Skoda’s words, this is a ‘close to production ready concept car’.

Skoda has come in for a bit of stick with the MissionL, not least on the world wide interweb where onlookers have claimed it’s a little dull and somewhat of a backward step for the brand. Indeed, my friends over at MR CAR have likened the car to the SEAT Toledo and Fiat Croma.

missionl_001

Far be it for me to disagree with what’s been said, but I’m going to anyway! For me, the MissionL is exactly what we want from Skoda. The styling is free of fuss, clutter and fancy trinkets and instead presents a clean and minimalist approach. Now I know I’m not a leading authority on styling, you’ve only got to look at my taste in cars to know this, but I’d be disappointed if Skoda suddenly went in a new direction.

The Octavia is already beginning to look tired, so if its replacement ended up looking like the MissionL we’d all be in for treat. One can only imagine just how good the vRS version would look. What’s more, it looks streets ahead of many of the current offerings from the rest of the VAG stable. If Skoda can sort out the waiting lists for their most popular models, they could be on to a winner with the new compact car.

missionl_005

Skoda is becoming the king of understated goodness. The MissionL simply takes it to the next level. I approve.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

10 comments

  1. September 19, 2011
    Ton

    I agree Skoda’s need to be dull, or the way you put it: free of fuss, but I can’t help but see a rebranded Seat Exeo, I mean, Audi A4. That being said, it doesn’t look half-bad, just the full-frontal is something I’d try to avoid seeing in my rearview mirror, by means of some added throttle.

    This could very well be the first Skoda without a tow-bar. Me likes!

    Reply
    • September 19, 2011
      MajorGav

      The full frontal looks amazing. I’m in love!

      Reply
  2. September 19, 2011
    Ton

    Do you have a mustache? Cause MissionL has… 😉

    Reply
    • September 19, 2011
      MajorGav

      Ha! Brilliantly observed!

      Reply
  3. September 20, 2011
    Darren Leslie

    I think you have got it spot on with the design. It just shows how used to designs with pointless features we have become when we’re saying that the MissionL is dull. To me, it’s simple and balanced and if the design follows into the cabin, they’ll have to work really hard to keep the waiting lists down.
    Comments regarding that it’s probably based on a previous generation A4, does it really matter? All it means is that they should be rather cheap as all the R&D and tooling have been paid for already….

    Reply
    • September 20, 2011
      Ton

      Darren, as a car enthusiast, I like to see cars go forward. Without progress, we would still be struggling to get on top of the Abergwesyn pass today. That’s the only reason why I think it’s time to kill off that old chassis. Then again, I have to admit, Skoda wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice when they look for innovation.

      All in all, I think you’ve read my comment in a more negative way than I had intended. I agree, it’s a good looking, balanced, simple design, which at the right price will attract and satisfy many people.

      P.s. what’s up with the black roof? Is it glass? Or is it “look at me I’m fast cause I have a black roof”? Neither seem very suitable for a no-fuss car.

      Reply
      • September 21, 2011
        Antony Ingram (@antonyingram)

        I quite like the black roof fad going on at the moment, lends a nice clean look between the front and rear screens, combined with the blacked-out B-pillar it looks like the roofline cuts through nothingness in two arches a la Peugeot RCZ.

        I didn’t actually have a good look at the MissionL at Frankfurt (I kind of forgot, and Skoda’s stand was flanked by a load of fairly dull Fabias to ward me off) but there’s a nice mix of subtle aggression and clean lines to it. The Seat Toledo comparison doesn’t bother me as I always liked that car too.

        And it has all the chunkiness of the current Octavia without the dullness.

        Reply
        • September 21, 2011
          MajorGav

          Another MissionL fan then!? Skoda seemed to get forgotten about during the show. I only seemed to hear negative comments, so it’s good to see that once the dust has settled, there’s some love for the MissionL!

          Reply
  4. September 28, 2011
    Joseph

    It looks like a Subaru Legacy saloon at the rear, with a bit of Proton Impian at the front, modelled on the previous-gen Octavia. I wonder if Skoda’s next photos of the car will include an extra aerial and a ‘Joe Bloggs Minicabs’ sign on the roof (Skoda Taxi jibe).

    Only kidding! You’d think I am critical of the new Skoda design, but I like it. That’s my critical side put to sleep. It looks quite nice, but i’m not sure if I like the new Skoda grille on this – the current style is fine. Also, if it is to replace the Octavia, I think that Skoda should maybe lengthen the rear of the car slightly: This would give it a bigger boot, and the Octavia needs to grow to really compete with the Mondeo/Insignia class.

    I suppose my fondness for the current Octavia has coloured my view of the new design. It’s hardly the worst concept car I have seen, and it will grow on me. But Skoda have made a massive omission which all their rivals have included – door handles! Look at the photos and see!

    Reply
    • September 28, 2011
      MajorGav

      Hmmm…the Proton Impian reference is quite an observation. Not too far wide of the mark either!

      No door handles – should score well on anti-theft tests then?

      Reply

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