LIKE THE WIND
THE SEVENTH STUDENT CAR TAKES ITS INSPIRATION FROM THE LEGENDARY 1957 SPECIAL – ŠKODA 1100 OHC
he latest iteration of the Azubi Car project, in which the VSME students are supported by their teachers in vocational training to design and build their own car, looked back into the carmaker’s history on the occasion of its 125th anniversary. Apart from the inspiration found in the ŠKODA 1100 OHC sports roadster from 1957, its name SLAVIA also calls history to mind, as it was the name that Václav Laurin and Václav Klement gave their bicycles manufactured from 1895 onwards.
Captivated by sporty driving
The students of the vocational school, which is part of the ŠKODA Academy, chose the SCALA model as the foundation for their concept and transformed it into a sports car with an open body of type spider. The first sketch was created with help straight from the brand’s chief designer, Oliver Stefani. “Despite the wider use of computers and simulations, drawing is still an essential part of car design. The sketch is the first of many steps on a long and exciting journey to create a new car”, is how Stefani describes the start of work on the prototype in March. The preparations were disrupted by the impact of the coronavirus, so discussions about the car’s shape, for example, often had to take place online, and the model’s presentation to the public was delayed by about a month. The students were divided into several teams: One took care of the design, and another of the paint or the electrical installation. A great deal of work went into modifying the body, which lost its roof and rear doors in the process. The students also played with a number of details. “One of the things we’ve come up with are dynamic turn indicators in the front grille, which will follow the usual turn indicators”, explains Ludvík Arazim from the team of electricians. He speaks highly of the cooperation with ŠKODA experts, who helped the team to develop those ideas. “They also provide us with technologies that we don’t have in school yet. They helped us with the 3D printing of the backlit lettering”, Arazim adds.
Stunning student skills
While working on the project, the students learn not only their own craft but also teamwork and the basics of communication. According to Arazim, it is the most difficult skill in the whole project. “We reached agreements within individual micro-teams quite easily, but the meeting of the whole big team was challenging. We come from a number of different fields, and sometimes we have very different views. Therefore, we had to look for compromises and meet each other halfway”, Arazim concludes. Rani Tolimat
Appraisal by Jan Kopecký
“The VSME students did a great job and built a beautiful car this year. Its dynamic curves catch the eye at first glance, and it is clear that they paid attention to every detail. Even though everything was made by hand, the quality of the workmanship is absolutely excellent. Thanks to the tough bodywork, the SLAVIA offers a very sporty ride and evokes emotions similar to that of its paragon, the ŠKODA 1100 OHC”, says the ŠKODA Motorsport factory driver, who tested the seventh student car on the track in Bělá pod Bezdězem with his co-driver, Jan Hloušek.