ŠKODA SLAVIA: A STUDENT SPIDER INSPIRED BY HISTORY
INNOVATION The seventh year of the AZUBI student project is approaching the finish line. The result is the SLAVIA, a sporty spider inspired by the ŠKODA 1100 OHC racing prototype and referring to the manufacturer’s 125th anniversary.
Twenty-six boys and five girls from ŠKODA Academy took part in this year’s AZUBI project, an annual project to build a concept car based on one of the brand’s mass-produced models. This year’s creation further connects the present and the past: the open-top concept called SLAVIA joins the celebrations for the anniversary of the founding of ŠKODA by referring to the name of the first bikes produced by Václav Laurin and Václav Klement after the creation of the company. founded in 1895.
The prototype derived from the SCALA model combines a fresh, modern and striking design with the traditional hallmark of the early days of the automobile, when most cars were open-top.
Like the SCALA, the Student Spider offers precise lines and sharply defined edges that give it a sporty and exciting look. Weighing 1,210 kilograms, the car’s dynamism is guaranteed by a 1.5-liter TSI spark-ignition four-cylinder engine, which delivers a maximum power of 110 kilowatts (150 horsepower) to the wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission. Other features taken from the SCALA include the two axles, the steering system, the electrical package, including wiring, and the assistance systems. The dashboard, virtual cockpit and infotainment system are also identical, but the ambient lighting from the interior is an innovative feature.
“Building a student concept car is a central academy project every year. This is the seventh time in a row that the students have shown how set the bar of our corporate academy is – from planning and designing to building an exciting concept car. We give them the chance to design the car of their dreams and get a taste of what it’s like to work with professionals from across the company’s departments. One of the results of this situation is that they get a glimpse into how the business works while they are still students. Later, when they leave school and start their careers with us, they can put it to good use, ”said Alois Kauer, who took over ŠKODA Academy last February.
Inspired by history
The students’ inspiration for creating a spider came from the 1957 ŠKODA 1100 OHC racing car. Originally two units were made as a coupe and two as an open-top spider (and later another by assembly from parts), especially for endurance races. The spider’s body was made of fiberglass (the coupe was made of aluminum), which reduced its weight to just 550 kilograms. This allowed the car to reach a top speed of 190 km / h. The 1.1-liter engine with an output of 70 kilowatts is derived from the ŠKODA 1101 unit, except that it was modified with two carburetors, an aluminum cylinder head and a double overhead camshaft.
It was these modifications that inspired the students to transform a ŠKODA SCALA into an open-top SLAVIA – they reinforced the base of the car, modified the exhaust system, removed the roof and welded the rear doors closed. This transformed a compact sedan with plenty of room for five people into an uncompromising, orthodox two-seater sports car. Also worth mentioning are the characteristic two ‘bumps’ behind the seats that transform into an all new trunk cover with an integrated spoiler. The designers paid special attention to the smooth transitions between the A-pillars and the doors. The sporty look of the car is enhanced by 20-inch rims taken from the ŠKODA KODIAQ RS.
Other features that stand out are the three-layer white body paint with its striking pearlescent effect and the programmable LED segments under the sills and behind the wheels – their lights can be controlled to switch between blue, red and white, the colors of the Czech flag. Equally distinctive is the ŠKODA lettering on the prototype trunk cover, which turns red as standard but changes to white in reverse.
Interesting interior features include the SPARCO sports seat with four-point harness and the 320-watt audio system that even has a 2250-watt subwoofer. And a surprise awaits in the luggage compartment, where the designers have included two ŠKODA foldable electric scooters.
“This project gives students a unique opportunity to experience firsthand what it takes to build a new car, from the first sketches on paper to the actual concept development. Students do it all on their own, but with invaluable support from their faculty and experts from the company’s design, production and technical development departments. This year’s project, the seventh, provides impressive proof of the high level of education at our academy. For the students, it is an incredible experience that will certainly help them in their careers, ”concludes Bohdan Wojnar, ŠKODA board member responsible for human resources.