ŠKODA give their iconic classic designs a futuristic makeover
Now, if only some of these made it into production...
The 'Simply Clever' design ethos of Škoda has rightfully earned them a position as one of the manufacturers sitting as the cutting-edge of automotive design, but what of their back-catalogue? Well, it seems Škoda's team of crack designers haven't forgotten about those either, and have revived some of their favourites in all-new 21st-century-inspired designs.
The Voiturette A was Škoda's first-ever production car, and as such is a key part of the Škoda history books. This new study was created by Yuhan Zhang - a member of the intior design team at Škoda - and features the Voiturette re-imagined as an open-top two-seater roadster "designed for autonomous driving around the streets of Prauge."
Inside, the interior contains a dramatic, sweeping information panel, while the wraparound seats take design cues from the single seat fitted to the original Voiturette A, back in 1905.
Zhang explained her philosophy behind the new design: “I wanted to make a connection between the history of ŠKODA and beauty of Prague. There is a big display in the car presenting a description of the sights as you go, but it could also show passengers the history of ŠKODA.”
The 1203 van is another vehicle from Škoda's history to receive a re-design, becoming a 21st-century camper with more than a whiff of VW's ID BUZZ design about it, but it's all the better for it.
In the real world, the 1203 van formed part of the backbone of Czech industry throughout the 1970's, offering reliable transportation for governments, trade and the emergency services, and remained in production for nearly 30 years, from 1968 until the late 1990s.
This re-imagined version features an all-electric drivetrain, along with a pop-up roof, and a blend of old-and-new styling cues: “I thought long and hard about how to reference the original’s round lights without them being too retro.” Explains Hájek. “That’s why there’s just a hint of some curves here, but otherwise the light signature is new and bold."
POPULAR MONTE CARLO and 130 RS
The inspiration behind the final pair of re-imagined Škoda classics was 'Sporting Glory' with interior designer Ljudmil Slavov choosing to recreate the classic Popular Monte Carlo, whilst fellow stylist Aymeric Chertier turned to the 130RS coupé to inject some modern-day design touches.
“The Popular Monte Carlo is one of the most beautiful cars ever made, and I found its history fascinating as well. It is incredibly elegant and tasteful,” explained Slavov. Choosing to recreate teh car as a dramatic roadster that wouldn't look out of place in a dystopian 'steampunk' universe, the wraparound windscreen and floating hologram speedo firmly cement this roadster as a classy ride for the future.
By contrast, the reborn 130RS coupé is far more recognisable, designed more as a homage to the original than a complete redesign. “I wanted to refresh the original car, not change it.” explained Aymeric Chertier: “I retained its essence and characteristic lines and added certain details that we know from modern WRC cars, for example.” The retro feel and distinctive muscular shapes of the car retain the bare bones of the appearance from the original car, but with heavily-redesigned styling.
Sadly, Škoda has no plans to develop any of these designs into real-world prototypes or projects, which is a shame given how incredible some of these creations would look, even as a one-off concept car. Still, it's nice to know that Škoda's team are so creative!