The ninth Škoda Student Car will be more electrifying than ever while embracing Škoda’s explorer spirit. This year’s 29 apprentices are building a multifunctional camping and mobile-office vehicle based on the all-electric Škoda Enyaq iV SUV. Their dream car lives up to modern-day explorers’ needs and expectations. Backed by the Škoda Design team, the students have recently drafted their own initial design sketches for the Škoda Student Car.


Oliver Stefani, Head of Škoda Design, says: “We, at Škoda Design, are very happy that, as part of this fantastic project, we can give these young talents such a tangible insight into our everyday work and get them excited about it. The Student Car project combines three of Škoda’s great strengths: its can-do attitude, hands-on approach and tremendous team spirit. We at Škoda Design are already looking forward to the moment we get to behold the finished Student Car.

Designing a mobile home from home
Since 2014, Škoda Design has been one of the first stops on the journey of those vocational students participating in the project. Working with Head of Škoda Design Oliver Stefani and his team, they first come up with exterior and interior sketches of their dream car – which they will then go on to build themselves, from the initial concept to the finished product. The ninth Student Car is set to be a multifunctional mobile-office camper based on the Škoda Enyaq iV, the first Škoda production model built on Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB).

“Explore More” through the eyes of students
In their design sketches, the students have already defined the personality of their dream car. As a battery electric office camper, the first ever Student Car based on an Enyaq iV is intended to be a companion on journeys to new horizons. A personal space for experiences and discoveries, it also underlines Škoda’s commitment to electric mobility. As is typical for the brand, the upcoming Student Car will benefit from iconic “Simply Clever” features and state-of-the-art technology, while also incorporating a wide array of sustainable materials. The aim of the car is to let its owner become a digital nomad – working without being tied to a desk, free to move wherever and whenever they want to. It’s a perfect match for Škoda’s new “Explore More” concept and precisely the right vehicle for modern explorers and independent adventurers.

Jiří Hadaščok, Exterior Design Coordinator at Škoda, says: “Students of Škoda Vocational School are doing an amazing job. Personally, I always enjoy being involved in the project, supporting the apprentices and reaping my own benefits from them, too. It’s great to look at the design process from a different angle and to explore new approaches. The way our students are translating the ‘Explore More’ concept into concrete ideas, and seeing how they put them into practice, is really impressive.”

Agáta Fraňková is a painter in the second year of her apprenticeship. Her sketches impressed the Škoda Design team so much that she became the first participant since the inception of the Student Car project to be offered an internship at the department. She adds: “The Škoda Student Car is an amazing project. In the beginning, we were particularly exicted about the support from Škoda Design. I am really happy to be part of this team and I am looking forward to getting to know the designers’ work up close – learning about different modern design techniques and further developing my skills.”

Škoda Student Cars – exceptional projects since 2014
Since 2014, members of each year at the Škoda Vocational School have designed a striking concept car which they have then built themselves. The first Student Car, in 2014, was the Citijet, which was based on the Škoda Citigo. This was followed by the Funstar, a pickup version of the Škoda Fabia, and the Atero coupé, based on the Rapid Spaceback. In 2017, the apprentices completed their first electric car, the Element, two years ahead of the electric Citigoe iV production model. The Sunroq of 2018 was a convertible version of the Karoq SUV, followed a year later by the spectacular Mountiaq pickup concept, based on the Škoda Kodiaq SUV. In 2020, the students presented the Slavia Spider, derived from the Scala. In 2022, after a year’s hiatus during the covid pandemic, Škoda Motorsport entered the fray for the first time by supporting the Škoda Afriq, a car that was built for rallying and was based on the Kamiq’s City SUV model.

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Customers can buy the fourth-generation Fabia in the stylish and sporty Monte Carlo version shown here in the photos, for example. And professional rally drivers can get the all-new Fabia RS Rally2 from Škoda Motorsport.

That’s one of the things the production and racing models have in common – you can become the proud owner of both. Only the price is different. While the Fabia Monte Carlo is one of the most affordable Škoda cars, at more than ten times the price the Fabia RS Rally2 is the most expensive thing you can buy from the Czech carmaker. But despite the price difference, the two cars have a lot in common.

One clear link between the two models is the body design and structure. “The rules are strict and require that the rally car’s bodywork is identical to the production car’s. The only exception to this is the ability to extend the car with fenders and bumpers. We can add spoilers and we can build a tunnel for the 4 × 4 drive into the floor,” explains Aleš Rada, head of Race Car Engineering at Škoda Motorsport. The rally car benefits from the rigid bodywork of the production type, which puts both cars among the top safety performers in their category.

“The development of a new model always gives us the opportunity to use some of the features of a production car,” explains Rada. So what has the new Fabia RS Rally2 taken from the production model, apart from its basic construction and shape? It has the same longer wheelbase as the previous generation and is wider, which makes for an improved centre of gravity. The Fabia RS Rally2 also benefits from the production model’s excellent aerodynamics, although the larger dimensions have also given the car a bigger front area. In addition to the bumpers, the rally version has different mirrors. The racing car also has other specific features, such as the mandatory bonnet locks, “roof ventilation” to channel air into the interior, polycarbonate side windows and other details. The wheels are also different, with teams choosing a specific set to suit the conditions of the particular rally.

While on the outside there is considerable similarity between the racing and production versions of the Fabia, on the inside it would be hard to guess they are related. Although the basic position of the dashboard, for example, is essentially identical due to the construction of both cars, the kit inside the cars is completely different, of course.

In the racing car, the robust safety frame protecting the crew plays a central role. And although the Monte Carlo’s mass-produced seats have substantial lateral movement and integrated head restraints, the racing seats are much more radical in this respect and are fitted with the mandatory six-point seatbelts.

There are also big differences in the instrumentation, handbrake lever position and pedal assembly. While the Fabia Monte Carlo provides comfort for its driver and passengers, the Fabia RS Rally2 subordinates everything to performance and low weight. Yet some details remain in place, such as the door handles or the logo on the steering wheel. This, by the way, has one very important function.

There is a world of difference between what you find beneath the two cars’ outer shells, even though the racing car’s engine must be based on a mass-produced unit. “All the chassis parts come completely from our own development work – they have nothing to do with the series model,” says Aleš Rada. The rally car’s front and rear axles must be McPherson-type axles. The production version has this kind of axle only at the front, while the rear is a trailing arm suspension axle.

The brakes are also different, although both cars have disc brakes on both axles. The transmission is also the product of Škoda Motorsport’s own development. Incidentally, the transmission system allows the rally car to reach top speeds of around 200 km/h, so the mass-produced Fabia Monte Carlo fitted with the most powerful 1.5 TSI (110 kW) unit on offer can actually go faster (top speed of 222 km/h). On the other hand, with its turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, all-wheel drive and 214 kW of power the rally car has much quicker acceleration.

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On 3 March 1998 Škoda lifted the curtain on the first Octavia Combi of the modern generation at the Geneva International Motor Show. Serial production of the future bestseller had already started a couple of weeks earlier, in February 1998, in a modern production plant in Mladá Boleslav. Over the past 25 years, the legendary model has become one of the most successful station wagons in its category in many countries. The current fourth generation also offers electrified versions: a plug-in hybrid drivetrain in the Octavia Combi iV and an Octavia Combi e-TEC with mild-hybrid technology. Some of the traditional strengths of the practical Škoda Octavia Combi include an excellent price/performance ratio, a wide variety of assistance systems and a top level of active and passive safety. This was once again confirmed in December 2022 by the most demanding Euro NCAP tests, valid until 2028.


Tradition obliges
Already since 1959, the Octavia range has represented a milestone in the more than 127-year history of Škoda. An even more practical version, the Octavia Combi, with a spacious and variable “combination body” offering both the advantages of passenger and light commercial vehicles, was launched on 11 September 1960. With a length of just 4065 mm, a width of 1600 mm and a height of 1430 mm, the Škoda Octavia Combi could carry 690 liters of luggage in addition to five passengers, and up to 1050 liters when occupying two seats. There was also a sleeper arrangement and a number of other practical equipment features. Between 1961 and 1971, 54,100 of these cars left the Kvasiny plant. As a basis for the Octavia, Škoda used the traditional concept with a backbone chassis frame and a front-mounted four-cylinder petrol engine driving the rear wheels. The robust construction combined with a ground clearance of 175 mm has proven itself even in demanding operating conditions.

Modern career
Another and even more successful chapter began in 1992, shortly after the integration of the Czech car manufacturer into the Volkswagen Group. The newly developed Octavia was the first Škoda based on the Group’s A4 chassis platform and the design team led by Dirk van Braeckel was already working in a digital CAD environment. The production of the Škoda Octavia, initially with a liftback body, began in September 1996 in a completely new assembly hall of the Mladá Boleslav plant, one of the most modern in Europe. From September 1997 onwards, about 200 units of the new Octavia Combi were produced as part of the pre-production. The so-called zero series had not yet been delivered to customers. Production started in February shortly before the official world premiere on Tuesday 3 March 1998 at the prestigious Geneva International Motor Show. The first buyers took delivery already in May 1998. The four-and-a-half-meter wagon had a wheelbase of 2512 mm, was six millimeters longer and 26 mm taller than the liftback. The 548 to 1,512 liters of luggage space was among the largest in the class.

The timeless elegance of the bodywork scored with experts and customers alike, as evidenced by the Czech National Design Award (1999) – but mainly by sales statistics. In 1998, the Combi version accounted for 15 percent of sales of the Octavia model range. In 2001 the percentage had already gone up to 40.5 percent. During its 13-year career, 470,600 cars were built.

A video provides period footage of the first modern generation of the Octavia Combi at Škoda Storyboard.

Growing popularity
From summer 2004, the second generation of the Octavia Combi was produced alongside the first modern generation (internally called A4). The purposeful coexistence lasted for six years, as the two cars complemented each other perfectly on the market. The modern shapes of the succeeding Octavia A5 were designed by a team of designers led by Thomas Ingenlath. By 2013, 881,200 customers had opted for the estate, accounting for 33% of global Octavia sales.

The third Octavia Combi (A7), launched on 7 March 2013, was even more successful. The range has gradually expanded to include an Octavia Scout, an outdoor version with an advanced 4×4 drive, automatic transmissions and many other modern features. Between 2012 and 2020, 1,195,500 units of the third generation of the Octavia Combi left the Škoda production plants.

Fourth generation: electrification
Launched in November 2019, the fourth generation is Skoda’s first-ever series production model with mild-hybrid e-TEC technology. For the first time ever, Škoda is also offering a plug-in-hybrid Octavia Combi iV which is available in the sporty Octavia Combi RS iV too. The fourth modern generation of the brand’s bestseller surpassed the quarter of a million units delivered to customers. The Škoda Octavia Combi thus reached more than 2.8 million customers in total over the past quarter of a century.

From March 1 to May 17, the story of the Octavia will be recalled by an exhibition at the Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav.

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The robotic rover called IPA2X is designed to help children, seniors and people with disabilities cross the road safely. Experts from the Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC), the Technical University of Munich and Škoda have been working together to develop a smart assistant, focusing on a new signalling radiator grille for cars, among other things.

The project, which received support under the Urban Mobility initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), also involves a number of other companies operating in the field of autonomous driving, research institutes and technology manufacturers. Experiences and know-how from artificial intelligence and 5G mobile networks were brought to bear. The result is a robot over two metres tall that looks like a mobile traffic light.

“The robot will make its way to the middle of the pedestrian crossing. The moment it gets there, it will display a green light and pedestrians can cross. The robot is constantly monitoring its surroundings, so it can detect that a car is approaching the crossing. Its advantage is that having sensors located at a height of two metres or more enables it to see over a line of parked cars. So it heads out into the road when it sees that it’s safe to do so,” explains Michal Sojka from CIIRC.

The robot displays both information for pedestrians and warnings for approaching cars – it shows the drivers a stop sign. It also sends a warning to the car itself, which is displayed as an animation on the infotainment display. “A warning pops up that there is a pedestrian crossing ahead where something is happening. Once the people have crossed the road, the robot goes back to kerb. The moment it reaches the kerb, the warning on the dashboard disappears and the driver can continue on his way,” Michal Sojka adds. The robot rover is also expected to emit accompanying audio signals in later development versions.

Another interesting part of the project – and an innovation specifically developed by Škoda – is a signalling grille on the front of the car that lets it communicate with its surroundings. It’s quite difficult to send clear and unambiguous warnings to pedestrians from a distance, so the developers came up with a replacement for the car’s radiator grille. The grille has built-in LED strips that allow pictograms and even entire animations to be displayed.

“This is essentially a complete replacement for the Enyaq iV’s backlit Crystal Face. We made a new body with LED strip holders. The LEDs are programmable and each one can be controlled completely separately, making it possible to create animations. The final step was a lightweight diffusion layer and a cover to ensure the mask could withstand the harshest weather conditions during testing,” explains Zdeněk Herda, specialist for HMI simulations and automatic driving at Škoda Technical Development.

This is the scenario: a car approaches a pedestrian crossing and lets the pedestrians know sufficiently in advance that it has spotted them. It stops and displays, for example, green arrows to tell them they can cross. Once the pedestrians have crossed and the car is about to set off, it again displays the signal “Stop, stay off the pedestrian crossing”. Another scenario is that a car approaching the crossing cannot stop for whatever reason – then it has to send out a clear signal: “Caution, I can’t stop, do not step out onto the crossing”.

The symbols being tested include green arrows, a green figure of a man, the colours we’re all used to from traffic lights, a warning triangle or a red triangle with a cross. These are symbols everyone understands. At this juncture the project is trying out different scenarios and the possibilities that these technologies allow. As Zdeněk Herda explains, in the future there could also be static elements – for example, a traffic light at a pedestrian crossing would keep track of where people are in the area, how many people there are and whether they’re approaching the pedestrian crossing or already on it, and would send the information to approaching cars.

Experts from Škoda and the Czech Technical University have also tested the robot’s communication with cars. The testing took place last autumn in three European cities. In Milan and Modena the robot was tested near schools, while in Ljubljana the focus was on senior citizens. As well as increasing safety, the project has the additional benefit of reducing noise and pollution and also cutting costs, as it does away with the need for humans to officiate at pedestrian crossings.

The development team received valuable feedback from the Italian schoolchildren. “We learnt a lot of useful things from the children. They found it strange that the robot didn’t talk, that it didn’t have arms, or that it moved too slowly. They’ve given us lots of ideas for ways to improve the robot,” says Sojka.

Schoolchildren in other cities could be seeing robotic traffic lights fairly soon. “The testing phase should be over in 2024, with robots deployed on the streets perhaps as early as 2025,” says project coordinator Andrea Bastoni of the Technical University of Munich.

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The Škoda Academy’s traditional Student Car project is back: This year marks the ninth time Škoda vocational students in Mladá Boleslav are designing and building their dream car. Since 2014, these spectacular one-off vehicles have demonstrated the high level of training at the Škoda Vocational School.


29 vocational students at the Škoda Academy have already started working on their Student Car. Since the 2013/14 academic year, apprentices have created their very own dream car with the expert guidance of their instructors – from a blank page to the finished one-of-a-kind vehicle. Throughout the project, they receive support from many Škoda Auto departments, including Škoda Design and Technical Development. Details on the ninth Student Car, such as the vehicle it is based on, the name and the type of conversion will be revealed within the next few months.

Maren Gräf, Škoda Auto Board Member for People & Culture, says: “The Student Car project has been an integral part of the training at the Škoda Academy for nine years now. The tremendous team spirit, the enthusiasm of our talented young apprentices and their attention to detail never fail to impress me. During the project, they acquire practical experience at every stage of development. They also gain expertise and insights into many different departments at the company. I am very much looking forward to seeing Student Car number nine and wish everyone involved lots of fun and success working on this great project.”

Maren Kabowski-Ciecior, Head of the Škoda Academy, says: “With great anticipation, I am closely following our students and the development of the ninth Student Car. This project gives our talented apprentices the opportunity to apply everything they have learned in previous years. At the same time, it lays the groundwork for a promising career at Škoda Auto and introduces students to the wide range of possible positions at our company. Our students can discover new areas of interest and make an initial decision on where they would like to work and contribute their talents.”

Early Student Car forerunners in 1975
So far, students from the Škoda Vocational School have designed and built eight Škoda Student Cars under the supervision of their instructors. More information on the previous Škoda Student Cars can be found here. The eighth Student Car, the Škoda Afriq, was supported by Škoda Motorsport for the first time. Early forerunners of the innovative project – the only one of its kind in the Czech Republic – were four units of the Škoda Buggy Type 736, hand-built in 1975 by Škoda vocational students for the emerging autocross scene in former Czechoslovakia.

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