This year marks the 20th staging of the Sachsen Classic rally and the Škoda Classic team is no stranger to the popular competition. The Czech car manufacturer will be fielding seven stunning exhibits from the Škoda Museum built between the 1940s and the 1980s. The one-hundredth rally starts in Zwickau on Thursday, 17 August. The 180+ teams will also venture into Czech territory, allowing spectators to catch sight of the cars near Krásná Lípa. After covering 544 km, the cars will reach the finish line in Dresden on Saturday afternoon.


The oldest cars Škoda Auto is entering in Sachsen Classic this year include convertible and roadster versions of the classic Škoda 1101 ‘Tudor’ models, both made in 1948. In keeping with tradition, another iconic Czech model – the open-top Škoda Felicia from 1961 – will be making an appearance, too. The other vehicles will be representing various types of two-door closed bodies: the Škoda 440 ‘Spartak’ showcases an exemplary 1957 competition model, and the timelessly elegant Škoda 1100 MBX DeLuxe (1969) without B-pillars heralded a new era of Škoda cars with a rear engine and self-supporting body. Other legendary models include extended coupés, such as the Škoda 110 R (1971) and the 17-year-younger Škoda Rapid 135.

The Sachsen Classic is one of the so-called one-hundredth rallies, where success is determined not by speed, but by regularity and precision. The 20th staging will see over 180 cars taking part. The first crew will take to the track from the centre of Saxony’s Zwickau on Thursday, 17 August, one minute after noon. The 109-kilometre opening stage will include a time check at the Sachsenring circuit. On Friday, the participants will cover almost twice the distance (215 km), and the third day will bring the historic cars onto Czech territory. Spectators can admire them during the Saturday morning pass through Krásná Lípa. On Saturday afternoon, after conquering 544 km of plains and challenging sections in the Ore Mountains, the successful crews will cross the Sachsen Classic 2023 finish line in Dresden.

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The second edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec ZWIFT ended yesterday in Pau after eight stages and 956 kilometres. The overall victory went to Dutch racer Demi Vollering. Points classification winner Belgian Lotte Kopecky received the green trophy made of Bohemian crystal and created by the Škoda Design team. For the second year running, the car manufacturer sponsored the world’s largest professional women’s cycling race as the event’s official main partner and vehicle supplier. In this capacity, Škoda provided the organisers with 34 plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, including the Octavia iV, Superb iV and Enyaq iV models, with the battery-electric SUV serving as the lead vehicle, the so-called “Red Car”.


“I sincerely congratulate the overall winner, Demi Vollering and all other participants on their impressive performance in this challenging and thrilling competition. The Tour de France Femmes avec ZWIFT is an exceptional event that has an impact far beyond sport: As the largest professional women’s cycling competition worldwide, it helps to draw the public’s attention to this amazing sport while shining a light on equality. We have been sponsoring and supporting this event from the beginning to further foster diversity, equity and fairness, among others. Our commitment to these values is also embodied by our Škoda Enyaq Coupé Respectline, which accompanied the peloton to the finish line.”

Maren Gräf, Škoda Auto Board Member for People & Culture

Points classification winner receives green trophy created by Škoda Design team
Škoda Auto was again a sponsor of the green jersey for the leader of the points classification. Lotte Kopecky finished the tour with the points jersey and received the green trophy created by the Škoda Design team. The crystal sculpture has sharply defined lines that are reminiscent of a bicycle. The precision and technicality refer to the parallels between cycling and automobile construction. The design was brought to life in an elaborate glass-cutting process using traditional methods by crystal specialist Lasvit in Nový Bor.

Cyclists completed a demanding route of almost 1,000 kilometres
During the 956 km route, international riders from 27 countries had to master four flat stages, two hilly stages and one mountain stage, as well as an individual time trial, on their way to the finish line in Pau. After starting in Clermont-Ferrand, they conquered an elevation gain of more than 14,000 metres and two mountain ranges. On the seventh of the eight stages, they reached the highest point of the track at an altitude of 2,110 metres and finished in the Pyrenean Mountain pass, the Col du Tourmalet. The riders were accompanied by 34 hybrid and all-electric Škoda models, with the Enyaq iV serving as the lead vehicle (“Red Car”) for the race director, Marion Rousse.

Driving for fair opportunities: Škoda Enyaq Coupé Respectline
To increase public attention for diversity, equity and fairness in all areas of life, the athletes were accompanied by the Škoda Enyaq Coupé Respectline on the final 22.6 km stage. The purpose of the one-of-a-kind vehicle is to promote the equal and fair treatment of everyone, regardless of origin, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, sex, faith, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics.

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Ahead of the digital world premiere of the refreshed Škoda Scala and Škoda Kamiq, the Czech automaker is releasing a series of design sketches that showcase the updated front end and headlights. Four years on from their initial production launch, Škoda Auto is introducing upgrades for its compact model and the city SUV that incorporate technical enhancements and a rejuvenated look.


The reshaped Scala headlights now extend to the grille. Strips of daytime running lights in the front headlights converge on both the lower and upper edge of the headlights, curving on the outer edge to create a distinctive new light signature.

The design of the Kamiq’s headlights has also been updated. The upper element of the signature split headlights is now slimmer and has an even more pronounced design. The main headlights beneath have grown in size and house the optional TOP LED Matrix headlights with distinctive hexagonal Matrix modules, available for the first time for the Kamiq as well as the Scala.

The digital world premiere of the refreshed Škoda Scala and Škoda Kamiq is slated for 1 August 2023.

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 Škoda Auto further continued to strengthen its positive course during the first half of 2023, despite ongoing market challenges. The Škoda Auto Group’s operating profit climbed to €911 million, marking a year-on-year increase of 34.8%. At the same time, the return on sales remained steady at 6.6%. The carmaker delivered 432,200 vehicles worldwide between January and June, which is 19.9% more than in the same period last year. The demand for the brand’s bestseller, the Octavia (+60.2%), as well as the all-electric Enyaq iV family (+41.0%), saw a substantial increase.


“We’ve proven in the first half of 2023 that Škoda Auto is on a stable growth path, thanks to a robust business model and a tremendous team performance. These results show what we are capable of delivering despite the challenging market environment. We have remained focused on overcoming supply chain issues and the reward now is being able to keep the production lines rolling. As a result, our customers can expect significantly shorter delivery times. Now, we need to remain vigilant and keep up the hard work to maintain this momentum.“

Klaus Zellmer, Škoda Auto CEO

“The results that Škoda Auto has achieved in the first six months of this year demonstrate the company’s exceptional flexibility and financial resilience. Our stable return on sales of 6.6% could have been even higher if it were not for the negative one-off impact due to the closure of the Russian business. Yet, we are on track thanks to our Next Level Efficiency+ programme which we will continue to implement further. It is as an important pillar for achieving sustainable profitability, and I am confident that, together with the team, we can continue following this path of sustainable growth.”

Holger Peters, Škoda Auto CFO

“The first half-year has shown us that, even in a challenging environment, Škoda Auto is capable of achieving solid results. We were able to improve our position on the challenging European market and expanded our market share. The waiting time for our models has decreased significantly, and we can now meet customer demand much faster thanks to the improved supply of components. The success of our all-electric Enyaq iV family gives us every reason to be optimistic about the future. We remain fully committed to providing affordable e-mobility that perfectly fits all our customers’ needs, by further accelerating our e-campaign.”

Martin Jahn, Škoda Auto Board Member for Sales and Marketing

Year-on-year increase of all key financial figures during the first half of 2023
The Škoda Auto Group generated a significant rise in revenue during the first six months of the year, with the metric climbing by 34.5% to €13.7 billion. The return on sales remained at the same level as the previous year, a solid 6.6%. Furthermore, the carmaker was able to significantly increase its operating profit in the first six months of 2023 by 34.8% to €911 million, although the divestment of OOO Volkswagen Group Rus in May 2023 had a strong negative impact on operating profit*. During the period of January to June, the company delivered 432,200 vehicles worldwide, marking a year-on-year increase of 19.9%. Likewise, production surged in the company’s Czech plants, reaching 535,200 vehicles, which is an increase of 79,000 units compared with the first six months of 2022.

Škoda future-proofs its model portfolio
Škoda Auto continues to focus on a strong, electric model portfolio further bolstering its e-campaign. In the coming years, the car manufacturer will introduce six new all-electric models across all segments. The all-electric compact SUV Elroq will be the first one to be presented next year. Škoda has also made significant strides in other fields on its path to e-mobility: The company has already passed the milestone of 500,000 produced battery systems that are mounted in e-vehicles of Škoda, Volkswagen, Audi and Seat, at its Mladá Boleslav main plant. As the transition to e-mobility varies in different markets, Škoda will offer the whole range of drivetrain concepts. This approach allows the Czech car manufacturer to provide its customers with the best of both worlds: a wide BEV portfolio as well as modern and efficient new ICE models. In the second half of 2023, Škoda will unveil new generations of the Superb and Kodiaq, while the upgraded models of the Scala and Kamiq will be presented on 1 August. In doing so, Škoda is picking up speed in the decade of transformation towards CO2-neutral mobility, offering the most diverse portfolio of BEV, PHEV and efficient ICE models to cater to all customer needs and preferences in all markets.

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The Škoda Sport, built on the reliable ‘Tudor’ platform, took part in the renowned 24-hour Le Mans race in 1950. This year, the meticulously restored original model is returning to the famous circuit at the vintage Le Mans Classic 2023, where the ‘Pancake’ – a nickname inspired by its low, aluminium body – will once again bear its original starting number 44.


24-hour Le Mans 1950: Impressive performance from the ‘Pancake’
In September 1949, the two-seater Škoda Sport made its grand debut at the Czechoslovak Grand Prix in Brno. It combined the proven technology of the ‘Tudor’ with a sleek, all-aluminium, pontoon-shaped body, earning it the affectionate nickname ‘Pancake’. Powered by a four-cylinder 1089 cm3 engine, this unique racer produced 42 hp (31 kW) at 5100 rpm, leading it to success in the up-to-1100 cm3 class.

To boost Škoda’s standing in the French and Benelux markets, where the ‘Tudor’ was already very popular, the brand decided to enter the 18th staging of the famed endurance race, the 24-hour Le Mans in 1950. To comply with the 24-hour race regulations, the ‘Pancake’ was fine-tuned; additional headlights were added for night stages, and openings were incorporated into the front grille to enhance drum brake cooling. Even with a wheelbase extended to 2150 mm for enhanced stability, the vehicle’s weight, complete with tools and spare parts, never exceeded 700 kg. The performance of the water-cooled four-cylinder 1089 cm3 engine, originally 32 hp (23.5 kW) at 4200 rpm, was boosted thanks to a higher compression ratio and a racing fuel mix of petrol, ethanol, and acetone, allowing it to reach up to 50 hp (37 kW) at 5200 rpm. Equipped with 15-inch Barum diagonal tyres, a PAL 12V electrical installation, and other components, the Škoda Sport achieved speeds of up to 140 km/h. Its low fuel consumption of around 12 litres per 100 km was a major advantage, minimising time spent refuelling during the race.

Factory crew Václav Bobek and Jaroslav Netušil embarked on the traditional Circuit de la Sarthe on 24 June 1950. Racing in the under-1100 cm3 category, they claimed 2nd position and climbed their way up to 5th place overall based on the performance coefficient. However, after 13 of the 24 hours, their hope for a spectacular finish was dashed by a trivial technical failure: a cracked piston pin circlip. Little did anyone know that this would be the last start for a Czech car with a Czech crew in the 24-hour Le Mans for many years. The tense political climate of the ‘Cold War’ thwarted plans to deploy a pair of modernised Škoda Sports in the 1951 race.

Le Mans Classic 2023: Up to 7000 rpm
The Škoda Sport is making a comeback to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the vintage race, Le Mans Classic, first held in the summer of 2002. Only models that competed in the original 24-hour race are eligible. This event includes a series of races featuring models from 1923 to 1981, divided into six basic and several special categories. Each category is allotted 2 hours and 9 minutes, split into three 43-minute races. Halfway through each race, there is a pit stop for a driver change. The final race starts in the traditional ‘Le Mans’ style, with drivers running from a designated spot to their cars on the starter’s signal, before starting their engines and hitting the track.

The 2022 Le Mans Classic saw the debut of one of the two ‘Pancakes’ that had originally participated in the 24-hour Le Mans 1950. The meticulously restored car was manned by the team of Stanislav Kafka and Michal Velebný. The vehicle finished 47th and ranked 43rd out of 74 starting crews in its class based on a coefficient that takes power and engine capacity into account.

The Škoda Sport remains true to its original design, relying on original lever shock absorbers and worm steering. In brake testing, the four-cylinder engine clocked up to 7000 rpm. On Friday, 30 June 2023, the class 2 qualifying will begin at 14:00, featuring cars manufactured between 1949 and 1956. The Škoda Sport, manned by the Kafka/Velebný team, will once again bear its original starting number 44.

Host of festivities
The appeal of the Le Mans Classic vintage race is enhanced by the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the legendary 24-hour race. A grand display awaits spectators, with over 800 historic cars, representatives from all 17 inaugural brands, and a collection of nearly 90 cars – including 65 victorious models from past Le Mans races – marking the Le Mans Classic centenary.

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