The seventh ŠKODA Student Concept Car, designed by 31 students attending the renowned ŠKODA vocational school, links the past with the present: the uncompromisingly open-top ŠKODA SLAVIA pays homage to this year’s ŠKODA AUTO anniversary by commemorating the name of the first bicycles produced by Václav Laurin and Václav Klement after they founded the company in 1895. The spider variant of the ŠKODA SCALA combines the contemporary compact model’s bold and exciting lines with a common design standard from the earliest days of motoring, when most automobiles were open-top vehicles. From first draft to building this one-off car, the students completed every step themselves, with support from their instructors as well as ŠKODA experts in the Design, Production and Technical Development departments. This, the seventh ŠKODA Student Car since 2014, once again showcases the high standard of training at the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav.
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The seventh iteration of the ŠKODA Student Car marks the first time the project participants – comprising 31 students, among them five women – have chosen the ŠKODA SCALA as the basis for their personal take on a dream car, turning the compact hatchback model into a particularly sporty spider. By choosing the name SLAVIA to mark the ŠKODA AUTO anniversary year, they are commemorating the company’s first bicycles, produced by its founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement under the same name. As in the production version of the SCALA, the car’s distinctive, exciting design, defined by precise lines and sculpted surfaces, ensures that the spider variant, too, boasts a sporty and emotionally compelling appearance. The matching dynamic performance of the ŠKODA SLAVIA comes courtesy of the SCALA’s familiar 1.5 TSI petrol engine with an output of 110 kW (150 PS), and a seven-speed DCT. Other carry-overs from the production model include the front and rear axle, steering, the complete electronics including cabling as well as the assistance systems. The instrument panel, Virtual Cockpit and infotainment system have also remained unchanged.
To transform the SCALA hatchback into the open-top SLAVIA, following the example of the ŠKODA 1100 OHC, the students performed numerous modifications to the car’s body, redesigning many areas and adapting existing solutions. They reinforced the underbody, removed the roof and welded the rear doors in place, thereby turning a compact hatchback model with plenty of space for five people into an uncompromising two-door two-seater. To redirect the airflow over the vehicle, they developed a special cover with hallmark twin speedster humps behind the seats, which blends into an equally new boot lid featuring an integrated rear spoiler. The students paid special attention to clean transitions on the A-pillars and doors. 20-inch alloy wheels from the ŠKODA KODIAQ RS make for an especially sporty appearance. The brake system and wheel hubs come from the OCTAVIA RS. The redesigned underfloor area houses a modified exhaust system.
The particular lustre of this concept car comes courtesy of the White Crystal Blue exterior colour contrasting with the black detailing on the front and rear aprons and side sills. The white high-tech paint finish consists of three layers resulting in a bluish pearlescent effect, which is emphasised by means of neon blue accents along the signature ŠKODA body lines as well as on the distinctive ŠKODA grille and the brand logo on the bonnet. Programmable LEDs, positioned below the side sills carried over from the SCALA MONTE CARLO and behind the alloy wheels, provide user configurable dynamic exterior ambient lighting in blue, red and white – the three colours of the Czech flag. The illuminated ŠKODA wordmark also doubles as brake light and reversing light. A “DRIVE 125 YEARS” badge on the front doors recalls the company’s founding in its anniversary year.
Sporty highlights in the interior are provided by four-point seat belts and special SPARCO racing seats, whose cushions and backrests have a black perforated leather finish. The seats’ side bolsters feature black carbon leather with white contrast stitching. These distinctive seams also add special appeal to numerous other interior elements finished in black leather, such as the centre armrest, shift lever gaiter, handbrake lever gaiter or the rear cover plates. The same combination is found in the lower two-thirds of the steering wheel rim, while the upper third is finished in white leather, as is the shift lever knob. Finally, a particularly eye-catching detail is the black leather parcel shelf featuring two embroidered lions that house two sunken bass speakers. The subwoofer has an output of 2,250 watts, with the remaining speakers adding another 320 watts. The SLAVIA’s boot accommodates two ŠKODA electric scooters. The folding e-scooters are a perfect, eco friendly solution for what is known as a journey’s “last mile”.
In coming up with the idea for the SLAVIA spider, the students took inspiration from the ŠKODA 1100 OHC. Presented in 1957, this sports prototype was an open-top two-seater race car designed by ŠKODA for use in endurance rallies. With its low and very aerodynamic body made of glass fibre reinforced plastic and a weight of just 550 kilograms, the ŠKODA 1100 OHC, powered by a 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine with an output of 92 PS, reached a top speed of 190 to 200 km/h, depending on the axle ratio. This race car is one of the milestones in ŠKODA’s 119-year motorsport history. One of the two prototypes built is now on display at the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav.
2020 marks the 125th anniversary of ŠKODA, and the students’ exciting spider concept car pays tribute to the company’s early days. By using the name SLAVIA, the students are commemorating the first business venture of founding fathers Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, who started out in 1895 by repairing bicycles in Mladá Boleslav. Soon the duo began designing their own bikes, successfully marketing them under the brand name SLAVIA from 1896 onwards. Reviving this historic name perfectly complements the students’ idea of taking the cutting-edge SCALA on a journey through time, back to an era when the first automobiles were open-top vehicles. A classic spider is all about wild and free motoring. With its commitment to open-top enjoyment, the ŠKODA SLAVIA departs from convention and embodies a spirited, youthful and carefree attitude.
The students’ creativity and craftsmanship are increasing almost every year. The CITIJET was followed 12 months later by the FUNSTAR pick-up based on the ŠKODA FABIA, and then came the ATERO, a coupé take on the ŠKODA RAPID SPACEBACK. 2017 saw the students return to the ŠKODA CITIGO, this time with the all-electric ELEMENT. The fifth Student Car, presented in 2018, was the SUNROQ convertible based on the ŠKODA KAROQ, and in 2019 students transformed a ŠKODA KODIAQ into the impressive MOUNTIAQ pick-up. For an overview of all the previous ŠKODA Student Cars, please see the ŠKODA Storyboard. Early versions of the Student Car project date all the way back to the 1970s. Following the construction of several small tractors and, later on, a ŠKODA 120 pick-up, 1975 saw students at the ŠKODA vocational school produce four exemplars of the ŠKODA BUGGY Type 736 by hand. One of these prototypes was carefully restored in 2017, again by students from the ŠKODA, and is now on display at the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav.
The present-day ŠKODA Academy was founded in 2013. This caters for the training of school graduates and young professionals as well as the development of employees and managers. Following the signing of the memorandum with the KOVO union for the promotion of vocational training in 2014, the ŠKODA Vocational School’s classrooms were modernised. With the support of the KOVO union, ŠKODA AUTO has invested over 300 million Czech korunas in the project in recent years towards modernising the training and equipment at the ŠKODA Academy.
Founded in 1927, the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav is known for its excellent standard of training. Since then, more than 23,000 students have graduated from the school. The current, over 900-strong student body is being taught in 13 different technical courses. Each successful graduate of the school is offered employment at ŠKODA AUTO. In 2013, the vocational school became part of the ŠKODA Academy and established a new tradition in the form of the Student Car project. This annual project enables young talent to design an original vehicle and then build it themselves. The first such vehicle was the CITIJET in 2014, a two-seater version of the ŠKODA CITIGO.
For the students, participating in the Student Car project represents a unique opportunity to apply and improve the skills they have learned in a practical context. The current student team were once again eager to interact with experts from all ŠKODA departments. They received valuable tips in the Development department, and during a visit at ŠKODA Design, department head Oliver Stefani and his team personally assisted the students with the creation of their first design sketches for the ŠKODA SLAVIA. The Production department provided recommendations for suitable materials and technologies such as 3D printing.
Vehicle type: Spider, without roof
Base model: ŠKODA SCALA
Length - 4,362 mm
Width - 1,793 mm
Height - 1,410 mm
Wheelbase - 2,649 mm
Ground clearance - 180 mm
Weight - 1,210 kg
1.5 TSI with 110 kW (150 PS),
7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive,
Modified exhaust system
20-inch Xtreme alloy wheels
(from ŠKODA KODIAQ RS),
235/30 ZR20 (Continental SportContact 6)
Disc/disc (from ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS)
White Crystal Blue with details in Black Magic,
Special phosphorescent pigment for particularly vibrant ŠKODA lines and logo
Black leather upholstery (perforated, smooth, carbon leather) with white decorative seams,
Sports seats with four-point safety harnesses
Modified front and rear aprons,
Integrated spoiler on the boot lid,
MONTE CARLO door sills,
Individually controlled LEDs Illuminated ŠKODA lettering with brake and reversing light function,
320-watt speaker system with additional 2,250-watt subwoofer
SCALA becomes SLAVIA: The students of the ŠKODA vocational school involved in the project commemorate the foundation of today’s company ŠKODA AUTO 125 years ago in naming the seventh ŠKODA Student car. Václav Laurin and Václav Klement sold their first collaboratively developed bicycles under the brand name SLAVIA. Now a Spider version of ŠKODA’s compact model SCALA, which for the first time serves as the basis for the ŠKODA Academy project organised annually since 2014, bears this name. The unique model, which was developed and produced by the trainees themselves, will be presented to the public in three weeks.
The seventh ŠKODA student car is called ŠKODA SLAVIA. The emotive spider version of the ŠKODA SCALA recalls the beginnings of the ŠKODA brand. To mark the 125th anniversary of the company’s founding, the students of the ŠKODA Academy are commemorating the birth of the Czech manufacturer with their traditional student car project. The two founding fathers, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, first opened a bicycle repair workshop in Mladá Boleslav in 1895. Soon after, they began designing their own bicycles, and from 1896 they successfully marketed them under the brand name SLAVIA. The new student car thus breathes new life into a legend from the company’s history.
The historical name fits perfectly with the students’ idea of taking a journey through history with the modern SCALA to a time when automobiles were open-top. A classic spider is wild and unconstrained. Through its consistent openness, the ŠKODA SLAVIA does not conform to conventions and also represents free-thought and the young generation’s carefree attitude. With its roof removed, the SLAVIA offers a particularly intense driving experience. Further specific changes to the bodywork make the Spider appear even sportier than the emotive SCALA.
The tradition of ŠKODA student cars started in 2014, when students of the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav were given the opportunity to plan, develop and build a spectacular concept car. Each one of these concept cars since then has illustrated the creativity and commitment of ŠKODA’s up and coming talent. The ŠKODA Storyboard features portraits of students who have been involved in project as well as an overview of all previous ŠKODA student cars.
Did you know that...
…SLAVIA comes from the Slavic name Slavia. This name is used for several well-known sports clubs in the Czech Republic, for example for the newly crowned Czech football champions Slavia Prague. Its captain, Jan Bořil, graduated from the ŠKODA vocational school
…the original meaning of the term Slavia is an allegory of Slavism in Slavic mythology. It can also appear in the forms Slavia, Slavie or Slávie
…Slavia is an asteroid of the central main belt discovered on 18 May 1972 by the Czechoslovak astronomer Antonín Mrkos at the Kleť observatory near Český Krumlov (IAU code 046)
…Slavia is a famous 1930’s-style artists’ café on the banks of the Vltava River in Prague
The countdown is on for the seventh ŠKODA student concept car: 20 students from the ŠKODA Academy are involved in the ambitious project this year. They have decided to design and build an open-top Spider version of the new compact model ŠKODA SCALA. At a workshop in the ŠKODA Design department in Mladá Boleslav, the participants met ŠKODA Head Designer Oliver Stefani and put their first ideas down on paper with him and his team. The still-unnamed seventh Student Car, which the students will be constructing according to the design, will be presented to the public in early June. For the seventh time in a row, the hands-on project underlines the high standard of training at the ŠKODA vocational school, which was established more than 90 years ago.
For several months now, 20 apprentices from the ŠKODA vocational school have been working on the seventh student concept car with great commitment and creativity, a spider version of the new compact model ŠKODA SCALA. Throughout this project, the up-and-coming talent will receive support from engineers and experienced employees from the areas of technical development, design and production at ŠKODA’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.
The apprentices will be using the new compact model SCALA, which was introduced at the end of 2018, and which plays an important role in the Czech manufacturer’s product range. The students have expressed a wish to make the car’s clear lines and emotive shapes more prominent in the spider version to emphasise the vehicle’s overall dynamics.
The vocational students’ visit to the ŠKODA Design department in Mladá Boleslav was an important step on the way to the official presentation of the unique vehicle, which is yet to receive a name, in June 2020. During the visit, they were allowed to look over the shoulder of Head Designer Oliver Stefani and his team in their day-to-day work and to create their own drawings of the next Student Car with the support of the experts.
In creating their first drafts and sketches, the students received help and valuable tips from all ŠKODA Design employees, and they won over the professionals with their enthusiasm and receptiveness.
The annual ŠKODA Student Car project demonstrates the high quality of training at the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav, which has been in existence for more than 90 years. Designing a concept vehicle and then building it by hand is the highlight of all apprenticeships.
31 trainees from the ŠKODA vocational school have returned to work on the seventh Student Car. The project had been brought to a temporary halt in mid-March, along with all ŠKODA AUTO production and all teaching at the ŠKODA Academy, to help prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. After an enforced break lasting around two months, the trainees along with their teachers have now been able to pick up at least part of their work on a spider version of the ŠKODA SCALA through theory lessons and video conferences. During the final phase of building the vehicle, the Student Car team will be subject to particularly comprehensive hygiene and safety procedures. Practical lessons will only resume on 1 June, in line with the Czech Republic’s country-wide COVID-19 measures for schools and educational establishments. It’s as yet unclear when the presentation of the seventh Student Car, originally planned for June, will take place.
Since autumn 2019, 31 students from the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav, among them five women, have been working on their dream car. For the first time, students are basing their design, the seventh in the series since the start of the yearly ŠKODA Student Car project, on the ŠKODA SCALA compact model, which they are transforming into an exciting spider. From coming up with the first drafts to designing the entire vehicle to building the one-off car with their own hands, students have been completing all the work themselves, under the tutelage of their instructors. They have been supported by ŠKODA engineers and experienced staff from the Technical Development, Design, and Production departments.
Halting production at all ŠKODA plants as well as all training at the ŠKODA vocational school due to the COVID-19 pandemic also affected the Student Car project and upended its already tight schedule. Since last week, the trainees have been working on further optimisation of the interior and final tweaks for the planned body modifications, while observing social distancing rules. This involves video conferences with all trainees and project manager Zdeněk Stanke every Tuesday.
Along with all staff at the ŠKODA plants, the students at the ŠKODA vocational school are subject to more than 80 hygiene and safety regulations, which were defined together with the social partner, the KOVO Union. They include basic precautions such as keeping a safe distance to other people, refraining from shaking hands, a regular hand-washing or disinfection routine as well as “safe” coughing and sneezing. Like all employees working in ŠKODA AUTO production, the team members have therefore been equipped with surgical masks covering mouth and nose or respirator masks.
Building a ŠKODA Student Car has been a tradition since 2014. Since then, students from the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav have been able to plan, design and build a spectacular concept vehicle themselves. Each of these concept vehicles demonstrates the creativity and commitment of ŠKODA’s young talent.
The ŠKODA Academy has a new director: since February 2020, Alois Kauer has been leading ŠKODA’s vocational school and has also assumed the patronage for the practical project ‘Apprentice Car’. “Every year the apprentice car proves the high standard of our training and is an integral part of our programme,” emphasises Kauer.
Mr Kauer, what role does the ŠKODA apprentice car play for the company?
Kauer: The apprentice car is a unique project in automobile production in the Czech Republic. Every year, it proves the high standard of our training and is an integral part of our programme. Since 2013, our apprentices have been designing and building a concept vehicle based on a ŠKODA series model. This year, we are looking forward to the seventh apprentice car. The unique model will be presented to journalists from all over the world in June. The project is a unique opportunity for budding designers, mechanics and technicians. They can design their own dream car and then build it themselves. This is a lot of fun, and they can also look over the shoulders of the professionals in different areas of the company and work alongside them. This is very exciting for the apprentices and the results are spectacular every year.
What is the aim of the project?
Kauer: The apprentices work on the project for one academic year. Most of them are in their third year of training. During the development of the apprentice car, they consolidate and hone the skills they already have. At the same time, they have to work in a team with their classmates in order to achieve the best possible result in the allotted time. The young people are highly motivated and very creative. Their ideas and feedback are invaluable to ŠKODA. In addition, the project improves the apprentices’ practical skills and promotes teamwork. In this way, ŠKODA gains excellently trained specialists at the end of the course.
You are a consultant and trainer for managers. How does this affect your new role as head of the ŠKODA Academy?
Kauer: The leadership competence at ŠKODA is outstanding. The academy supports and accompanies our managers’ further development in all matters. They have a high level of responsibility for the company and our employees. They have to reach the employees, take them along and at the same time keep an eye on the goals. Due to the profound changes in the automotive industry, the demands on our leadership have increased immensely and new ground has to be broken.
How have the first few days been in your new position?
Kauer: I was given the opportunity to quickly and intensively get to know the management of the ŠKODA Academy and the crucial issues concerning the institution before I started. Things have got off to a good start, and I am looking forward to having many more discussions and establishing contacts.
What tasks are you most looking forward to?
Kauer: I am a team player. That is why I am particularly looking forward to working well with colleagues in the various areas. I am always fascinated by what can be achieved through open and good cooperation in terms of innovation and enthusiasm. For me, education is a matter of the heart. We can only master future challenges together, and a strong company needs strong employees. That is why we have to prepare our workforce not only for the current requirements but also for the ones we will face in the future.
What do you see as the most significant challenge in training?
Kauer: Through vocational training, ŠKODA accomplishes a central educational mission that also forms the basis of our work in nurturing new talent. The particular challenge is to devise apprenticeships that match the company’s needs and teach theory and practice at the highest level. We want to make young people enthusiastic about vocational training, develop technical skills in new technologies and strengthen our apprentices’ self-confidence and personal responsibility. The further development of our training is based on the comprehensive and continuous feedback from apprentices, parents and departments. It makes us proud when our apprentices prove their capabilities in their work and go on to have a career at ŠKODA. This is the only way we will remain a pioneer in vocational training.
ŠKODA operates its own academy for young professionals. Why?
Kauer: Excellently trained specialists are a valuable asset and today’s students are tomorrow’s specialists. For this reason, ŠKODA is investing heavily in the quality of training at the ŠKODA Academy, which was established in 2013. On the one hand, the educational institution offers further training programs for employees, on the other hand, we train young people and consistently promote young talent.
Is this a new approach for ŠKODA?
Kauer: ŠKODA has been running its own vocational school since 1927. Since then, around 23,000 young people have completed their training here. Good training and further education opportunities have, therefore, long been an integral part of our personnel strategy. For this reason, ŠKODA invested around 320 million Czech crowns between 2013 and 2019 to expand the existing training programmes and modernise the educational institutions.
What skills does vocational training focus on?
Kauer: ŠKODA attaches great importance to excellent specialist knowledge in combination with high social skills, for example, in the area of teamwork. In this way, we prepare the students optimally for their future professional life and a successful career path.
How do you develop talented young people?
Kauer: Our educational institution has state-of-the-art equipment, and our lecturers teach according to the latest standards and using the latest methods. We focus on trendsetting technologies in both electronic and mechanical engineering. We also attach great importance to the practical side. That is why the students spend part of their training directly at ŠKODA in their future workplaces. In this way, they experience all facets of vehicle production and are well prepared for their professional life and long-term employment. This is important for us because we offer a job to every graduate of the ŠKODA Academy. With our range of training courses, we are very successful and pioneers in specialist training.