[YesAuto Design Decoding] Looking for design inspiration in historical models has always been a very important creative method for car designers, especially those car brands with a long history. Not long ago, Skoda launched a series of plans for its own designers to reimagine five classic models of its brand. The works will become part of the brand's 125th anniversary celebration and use its classic elements to imagine the future. This article will take you to see how designers interpret classics.
Chinese girls invite you to sit in the self-driving “carriage” and have a chat
Speaking of Skoda's classic models, it is natural to start with VOITURETTE A. This model is the first car manufactured by Skoda's predecessor LAURIN & KLEMENT (L&K). Skoda designer Zhang Yuhan reinterpreted this legendary model from a futuristic perspective.
Chinese designer Zhang Yuhan has been working in the interior design department of Skoda's Prague headquarters since 2015. She has participated in the development of the concept car including the VISION E, and we will also see it in a future production model of Skoda. Her design, and her design philosophy can also be perceived in a classic car she remodeled.
Zhang Yuhan's re-outlined VOITURETTE sketch not only retains many similarities on the basis of the original, but also has obvious differences. She wants to keep the original spirit of this model as much as possible. For example, the new VOITURETTE engine compartment cover is prominent and conspicuous, the seat is designed like a couch, and the position is high, and the style of the cockpit is particularly simple.
In the eyes of designers, there is still a long way to go to fully realize autonomous driving, and the idea of using LED displays to create radiator grilles and wheels is also very futuristic. Zhang Yuhan said: “This will be a way for the car to communicate with you and greet you. I think the whole car should give people a warm impression, which is why I give it soft, round lines.”
After nearly 20 hours of creation, this idea finally fell from Yuhan's mind to the surface of paper. This is also a meaningful creation of Yuhan after entering Skoda. The VOITURETTE A transformed by Yuhan has been presented in front of us with a completely new look, and Yuhan, who has always been striving for perfection, is also going to use his spare time to continue enriching and perfecting this idea, and to further develop more details through computer-created 3D models.
Skoda “God Car”-FELICIA
The second redesigned model is Skoda's “sacred car”-FELICIA. The designer is Martin Leprince, a Frenchman from the Skoda automotive design team. He believes that the Skoda FELICIA convertible shows a fun and carefree attitude towards life. .
Skoda FELICIA was a convertible produced at Skoda’s headquarters in Kovasni from 1959 to 1965. The appearance and technology of the car were designed based on the Skoda Octavia at the time. At the same time, Skoda FELICIA is also the last mass-produced convertible produced by Skoda, and only less than 15,000 units have been produced.
As soon as the chic and elegant Skoda FELICIA was launched, it immediately attracted great attention at the international auto shows in Geneva, Leipzig and New York, as well as many other exhibitions in South America and Africa. The following year, the annual production of Skoda Felicia rose to 4,210, of which two-thirds were sold overseas, and there were many well-known car owners.
After the convertible was discontinued, Skoda discontinued the Felicia brand name until it was reactivated in 1994 and once again sold globally, including the Chinese market. Around 1996, China imported a batch of Felicia, and an uncle of the author bought one. At that time, he was quite impressed with the interior design of this car. It adopted a more sleek and warm design. There are obvious differences in the design of Santana and Jetta Founder.
Designer Martin Leprince has participated in the research projects of Skoda VISION X, VISION RS and VISION iV concept cars. In his free time, he likes to make by hand, mainly sculpture and model making.
Skoda Felicia's greatest inspiration for him is the beautiful lines and proportions. The layout of the occupant space is the same as the original car, with the long rear overhang and long engine compartment cover also flashing the shadow of the original. However, Martine's Skoda FELICIA is not just a retro work, he wants to use contemporary Skoda's concise design language to make a more modern and unique interpretation of classic models.
The Skoda logo seems to constitute the entire steering column, which is also a tribute to history and also draws on sculptural techniques, because Martin is very keen on sculpture art.
The exterior and interior are both important to those who choose a convertible, because you can see the exterior and interior at the same time. When people buy a car, they first look at the exterior, and when driving, they see the interior space. A convertible can present both the exterior and interior at the same time.
Martin admits that the idea of curved floating windshield glass is difficult to realize: “I studied glass statues, and with the help of photos and pictures, I also figured out ways to draw 3D glass objects to make the whole design easy to understand and realistic. This Keeps me busy for several days.”
Skoda POPULAR MONTE CARLO
Skoda POPULAR MONTE CARLO, born in 1936, was originally a racing car specially built by Skoda for the Monte Carlo Rally. Because of its smooth appearance design, it has become one of the most beautiful models ever made by Skoda.
The designer who reinvented this car is Ljudmil from Bulgaria. More than 20 years ago, when he was 11 years old, he moved to the Czech Republic with his parents. He graduated from the Prague Academy of Art, Architecture and Design.
When Ljudmil was looking for inspiration, it happened that the Skoda Museum was also about to renovate the original two-seater convertible version of the Skoda POPULAR MONTE CARLO. After several comparisons, Ljudmil decided to use a convertible to transform it, because this version can better show the interior design of the car.
Under Ljudmil's reinterpretation, the highly aerodynamic body lines of Skoda POPULAR MONTE CARLO perfectly blend the harmonious beauty of the original model with the muscles of Hyundai Skoda.
The Skoda brand name is decorated with modern fonts on the front of the car, just like today's Skoda rear. Ljudmil feels that the classic car logo is too retro to be used on the current cooling grille, and the text logo can give people a more elegant and noble impression. More importantly, Skoda used words to replace the manufacturer's logo on some models, so this is also a tribute to the brand's history.
Ljudmil believes that the interior of the original two-seater roadster is elegant and practical, and this design style continues to this day in Skoda. Functionality, practicality, elegance and purity are still the basic principles of Skoda's interior design.
Ljudmil thought about whether to put two child seats here to make the car more practical, just like the current production convertible, but he finally chose a more sporty appearance.
Ljudmil is fascinated by music. When he saw the original Skoda POPULAR MONTE CARLO, he seemed to hear jazz immediately. He hopes to add some material to the design through music, so that it evokes the same emotion as music. Take a look at the Skoda POPULAR MONTE CARLO conceived by Ljudmil-you can even find a treble clef in its lines.
“Oriental Porsche”-Skoda legendary model 130RS
Perhaps you may not believe it. Skoda looks unpretentious, but there is an unusually restless heart in your bones. The Skoda brand has been involved in motorsports since 1901 and has a wide range of activities: touring car races, formulas, rally races have participated, and has won many trophies in various vehicles around the world.
Although the Skoda 130 RS is based on the mass-produced 110 R coupe, its design has many changes, such as enhanced suspension and anti-roll bars, aluminum body sheet metal, and a 1.3-liter engine with an output of about 103 kilowatts. .
The Skoda 130 RS has not only won repeatedly in competitions of the same displacement level, but also won repeatedly in the overall qualifying competitions of rally and field competitions. Its most brilliant records include winning the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally Championship and the 1981 European Touring Car Tour Championship. Between 1975 and 1980, about 200 Skoda 130 RSs were produced.
With international success, Skoda 130RS has the reputation of “Oriental Porsche”.
He likes playing guitar and piano, as well as woodworking and architecture. Le Corbusier, the father of modern architecture and Santiago Calatrava, are his favorite architects.
Therefore, his transformation of the Skoda 130 RS is not only to create an eye-catching and fashionable car, but also a retro work born out of a legendary racing car. Faced with such a classic car, what Aymeric wants to do is to reshape this car, not to change it.
Although Aymeric's redesigned Skoda 130 RS is still loyal to the prototype in appearance, the internal design has broken barriers and is full of innovation.
In addition, this concept car is also equipped with a large display with three information areas. The area on the driver's side displays traditional vehicle speed, rotational speed data, and other key parameters. The middle area shows more detailed information, such as oil temperature, engine performance or navigation data. The screen area in front of the navigator's seat on the right displays additional information, such as images taken by the rear-view camera.
A practical campervan-Skoda 1203
The last one is the Skoda 1203, which is the most widely used multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in Czechoslovakia in the 20th century (before its disintegration). It debuted at the Mechanical Engineering Fair in Brno on September 14, 1968.
This kind of van has played an important role in the lives of people in Czechoslovakia, from small passenger cars, vans, to flatbeds or assembled models. To put it jokingly, Skoda 1203 can accompany people through their lives: from the cradle (ambulance) Car model) to the grave (the hearse model).
He joined Skoda Automotive in 2016 (while still a student) and completed his degree program in cooperation with Skoda. Now Daniel is a user interface (HMI) designer and is involved in the design of the dashboard system of Skoda Octavia and Skoda ENYAQ iV. In addition, he also participated in the prototype design of Skoda VISION X, VISION RS, VISION iV and VISION IN concept cars.
In his vision, the modern Skoda 1203 is a modern camper with a “suspended” roof. However, Daniel's original idea was to design a escort car for the Tour de France, because Skoda has been actively participating in cycling events.
In Daniel's vision, the modern version of the Skoda 1203 is based on the Transporter platform being used by the Volkswagen Group, which can easily be fully electric. Electric vehicles can make better use of space. The interior is dominated by a simple instrument panel, the instrument panel also uses a unique horizontal connection design, and there is a horizontal double-spoke steering wheel.
The inverted flying wing-like shelf under the instrument panel is also a tribute to the historic Skoda 1203 model. There is storage space in the partition, and interestingly, the partition can be retracted. Sliding partitions may get in the way on ordinary cars, but they are very practical on vans.
As for the entertainment system, as a user interface designer, his work includes the appearance and functional design of the infotainment system, but this system is not available on the Skoda 1203 he remodeled. The reason is that Daniel wants drivers to use their own devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to obtain entertainment information. Of course, he can also design a special application for these devices to control vehicle functions.
Written at the end:
From 1895 to 2021, the Skoda brand has gone through 125 springs and autumns. From bicycles to cars, trains, and aircraft engines, its history is an inexhaustible treasure for designers. While imagining the future, the five designers also made full use of Skoda's century-old history, inheriting the past and inheriting the classics. Perhaps in the near future, we will see refreshing Skoda models. (Editor/Guo Feng Auto House)