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In collaboration with the Technical University of Liberec, ŠKODA AUTO’s Technical Development department has developed a sustainable, ecological material and applied for a patent. The innovative raw material is made from sugar beet pulp. ŠKODA AUTO is also researching another material based on the reed plant miscanthus. Both could be used in the interior of new ŠKODA models in the future, for example for the door trim and decorative inlays in the dashboard. Using a purpose-built OCTAVIA, ŠKODA AUTO demonstrates the wide range of possible applications for the new materials.

Johannes Neft, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development, explains: “We aim to play a pioneering role in the area of sustainability. We are taking a holistic approach to this issue, and we are addressing much more than just the CO2 emissions of our vehicle fleet; we are also focusing on researching and using ecologically sourced materials and investigating, for example, how materials such as coconut fibres or rice husks can be used in the future.”

ŠKODA AUTO has already applied for a patent on one material that is ideally suited for use in the interior of its vehicles; the car manufacturer uses a special process to dye sugar beet pulp to create design accents in the interior. The car manufacturer obtains the material directly from the town of Dobrovice, not far from its headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. This avoids long supply chains and optimises the CO2 footprint.

ŠKODA AUTO has obtained another sustainable material from the reed miscanthus: The fibres can be processed and used for the door trim, for example. Organic residues from production make excellent ecological raw materials, as they can be processed further without the need for additional resources. This reduces the requirement for industrially produced raw materials.

From raw material to the vehicle: a walk-through OCTAVIA demonstrator
In partnership with the Technical University of Liberec, ŠKODA AUTO is continuously working on innovative and sustainable materials that can be used in vehicle production. ŠKODA AUTO is trialling new basic materials in an OCTAVIA specially prepared for this purpose. The floor and right-side panel of the so-called ‘demonstrator’ have been removed to give designers and engineers an unobstructed view of the interior. This is where they process the new materials and test them for feel and fit to give them an accurate picture of which eco-materials are suitable for use in series production models. Door panels and vehicle pillars are finished using miscanthus-based fabric, and sugar beet shavings are used in the door panels and on the dashboard.

ŠKODA AUTO has designed its vehicle production to be as sustainable as possible: for example, 30 per cent of the seat covers in the Design Selection ‘Lodge’ for the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV are made from 100% new wool, which is certified in accordance with the strict requirements of the Woolmark Company. The remaining 70 per cent of the fabric is made of polyester from recycled PET bottles. The covers offer a unique feel and ensure outstanding seating comfort. ŠKODA also pays particular attention to sustainable leather production; the cognac-coloured leather of the Design Selection ‘ecoSuite’ is tanned using an extract from olive leaves.

Another option for the use of renewable raw materials is the regenerative fuel HVO, to which the diesel engines of ŠKODA vehicles will be converted from model year 2022. Pure HVO is already available in Sweden and Finland and is produced from various renewable sources. Using these fuels can reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

o mark the occasion, ŠKODA UK has completed a restoration of the 2011 OCTAVIA vRS, returning it to the same specification that completed the final run along the world-famous salt flats. The freshly restored racer was put through its paces at Millbrook Proving Ground’s high-speed bowl by members of the motoring press, alongside a selection of some of ŠKODA’s greatest performance models past and present marking the 20th anniversary of vRS in the UK.

Recalling ŠKODA’s record-breaking visit to Bonneville, Meaden said: “Driving the salt flats was a dream come true. It always felt like a privilege to be allowed to charge flat-out down the salt. Knowing how much passion and hard work went into getting the Octavia to Speed Week made that privilege all the greater. I’m incredibly proud of what we all achieved and will never forget how it felt to break a record or to be part of such an exceptional group of people.”

Although the 2011 ‘Salt spec’ OCTAVIA became the first ŠKODA to hold an official Land Speed Record – beating the previous benchmark by more than 11 seconds – the original target for the ŠKODA UK team was to break the 200mph barrier. Indeed, it was only after the car eased past the famous ‘double century’ in early runs that the team realised that the existing record might be beatable. The OCTAVIA vRS’ record-breaking run consisted of two official sprints of Bonneville's famous five-mile course: the first at 225.513mph on Thursday 18 August, with the return at 228.647mph on Friday 19 August.


The car itself – a Corrida Red OCTAVIA vRS 2.0 TSI – was originally destined to join the ŠKODA UK press fleet before being requisitioned for the Bonneville project. Although based on a production OCTAVIA vRS 2.0 TSI, the ‘Bonneville special’ required extensive modification for the record attempt. Under the regulations set out by the Southern California Timing Association, only a certain number of modifications were permitted. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the OCTAVIA’s 2.0 TSI engine was so new at the time that very few motorsport or high performance upgrades were available from external suppliers.

Working to an almost impossibly tight deadline, key upgrades included an injection system altered to deliver more fuel to the engine (eight injectors), and a cooling system which benefited from the addition of a 10-litre radiator. The longer-geared transmission from an OCTAVIA GreenLine was also installed to enable a higher top speed, while the traditional brake discs and calipers were removed and replaced by a parachute to ensure the car could safely stop on the salt surface. Operated by a lever in the cabin, this had the added advantages of reducing excess drag, unsprung weight and friction.

The Milton Keynes-based ŠKODA UK team behind the racer spent the days leading up to Bonneville’s famous Speed Week putting the car through a rigorous dyno programme with the assistance of performance software and tuning outfit specialist REVO Technik.

The record-breaking OCTAVIA vRS Bonneville Special forms part of the ŠKODA UK heritage fleet that features a collection of ground-breaking models dating back to 1929.

Article source: www.skoda.co.uk

ŠKODA AUTO embarked on a new era on 3 September 1996. In Mladá Boleslav, one of the most modern car plants in Europe went into operation, while series production of the ŠKODA OCTAVIA, the brand’s most important new model, began there at the same time. Since then, around 7 million units of the four contemporary OCTAVIA generations have been delivered.

The ŠKODA OCTAVIA has played a pivotal role in ŠKODA AUTO’s successful development over recent years. Since series production began 25 years ago, around 7 million customers have opted for the bestseller from Mladá Boleslav. From day one, it has offered outstanding spaciousness, state-of-the-art technology, a high level of safety and excellent value for money. In addition, it has featured innovative technologies in every generation – in the current series, for example, the OCTAVIA iV’s plug-in hybrid drive. Thanks to these qualities, the OCTAVIA set out to become the heart of the brand a quarter of a century ago.

In 1996, ŠKODA AUTO presented its first compact class model after being integrated into the Volkswagen Group. The traditional name OCTAVIA was used as the model designation. Between 1959 and 1971, more than 280,000 units of this legendary model series rolled off the production line, including the OCTAVIA COMBI. The Latin word ‘octavia’ means ‘the eighth’. The newcomer was the brand’s eighth model after the Second World War and also the eighth ŠKODA model with all-around independent suspension since ŠKODA introduced the concept in 1933. The ‘‘original OCTAVIA’’ was also in great demand beyond the borders of what was then Czechoslovakia and contributed many successes in the 120-year history of ŠKODA motorsport, including the class victory hat-trick at the Monte Carlo Rally from 1961 to 1963, the ŠKODA OCTAVIA’s class victory in the 4,000-mile race from Montreal to Vancouver in Canada in 1962 and at the Shell 4000 Rally in 1963.

The history of the modern OCTAVIA began in 1992, around a year after ŠKODA AUTO had joined the Volkswagen Group when the compact class model was gradually being developed. With the help of computer-aided design (CAD) technology, a body with an unmistakable, timeless design was created on the new Group platform – the work of designer Dirk van Braeckel and his team.

At the same time, preparations were underway to build a new production facility in Mladá Boleslav that would enable efficient modular production and the assembly of components and subassemblies delivered just-in-time. The body skeletons travelled along the assembly line on height-adjustable assembly plates, eliminating the need for hanging fixtures from conveyor systems. A new paint shop was added to the assembly line in the 37,500-square-metre, expansively glazed hall. After the grand opening of the facility on 3 September 1996, the production capacity increased by 90,000 to 350,000 vehicles per year.

One of the hallmarks of the practical liftback was its high level of active and passive safety, including front and side airbags. The generous boot was easily accessible via the large tailgate and offered space for 528 to 1,328 litres of luggage.

In 1996, its opening sales year, customers could choose from two four-cylinder petrol engines (1.6 MPI/55 kW and 1.8 20 V/92 kW) and a turbo diesel – the economical 1.9 TDI had a standard consumption of 5.1 litres of diesel per 100 km and an output of 66 kW. The engine range was gradually expanded to include the top-of-the-range 1.8 20 V Turbo/110 kW. The OCTAVIA COMBI made its debut in March 1998, and a version with all-wheel drive was added in 1999. By November 2010, more than 973,000 liftbacks and over 472,000 estates of the first OCTAVIA generation had been produced.

This was followed by the even more successful second generation of the modern ŠKODA OCTAVIA, which went out to customers from 2004 to 2013. In addition to even greater utility, it also offered many technical innovations, such as petrol engines with direct injection and the automatic DSG dual-clutch gearbox. The third generation of the OCTAVIA rolled off the production line between 2012 and 2020, and on 11 November 2019, the Mladá Boleslav-based automaker unveiled the current, fourth generation of its bestseller. Today, ŠKODA AUTO offers the OCTAVIA with the widest range of engines in the history of the model series. The line-up includes saloon and estate body versions with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. In addition to efficient petrol and diesel engines, the range also boasts a wide selection of alternative drive systems, including natural gas (CNG) as well as plug-in hybrid drive and mild hybrid. The amount of interior space has again increased compared to previous generations, and the new OCTAVIA is also safer and offers greater connectivity than ever.

The ŠKODA OCTAVIA enjoys global demand as an established name in its segment. This is also confirmed by numerous awards from renowned trade magazines.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

The long era of ŠKODA vehicles with rear-engine and rear-wheel drive came to an end in 1988: the factory drivers from Mladá Boleslav drove their final rallies in the legendary 130 LR vehicles and began training in the new, front-wheel-drive ŠKODA FAVORIT practically overnight.

In addition to the complete selection of images accompanying this press release, the ŠKODA Storyboard also offers a 32-page brochure and a comprehensive selection of articles and features on various topics from 120 years of ŠKODA Motorsport.

While the ŠKODA 130 LR was still racing on domestic rally tracks in September 1987, there was a considerable paradigm shift at the International Engineering Fair in Brno, where ŠKODA unveiled the FAVORIT to widespread interest. The modern hatchback with front-mounted engine and drivetrain was an entirely new development and the Czech carmaker believed it would also have strong sales prospects in the demanding Western European markets. In Mladá Boleslav, the team immediately began working on a rally version, the success of which would be key to promoting the new model internationally.

Works driver Vladimír Berger played an important role in developing the racing vehicle. For tuning purposes, he drove the ŠKODA FAVORIT, which had not yet been officially homologated, at selected rallies in the 1988 Czechoslovak championship. The homologation of the vehicle followed on 1 January 1989 under the registration number A-5373. The FAVORIT celebrated a successful debut with the driver teams Křeček/Motl, Sibera/Gross and Berger/Petera shortly afterwards at the traditional ‘Valašská zima’ rally. The FAVORIT celebrated its international premiere at the Finnish Hanki Rally, driving to class victory with Kalevi Aho at the wheel. The FAVORIT continued to dominate in the following years, winning almost every race in its class. It also asserted itself against the competition in demanding WRC rounds such as the Monte Carlo Rally, the RAC Rally, the Finnish 1000 Lakes Rally and the Acropolis Rally. The winning streak of the duo Pavel Sibera/ Petr Gross, who won their class four times in a row at the Monte Carlo Rally between 1991 and 1994, was particularly impressive.

In 1993, new rules came into force with the announcement of the World Cup for vehicles with naturally aspirated engines, a maximum engine capacity of two litres and a driven axle – the so-called Formula 2. In the first season, the ŠKODA Motorsport works team finished second, before leaving numerous well-known competitors behind in the following year and securing the world championship title in the Formula 2 class.

As a Class A rally car, the ŠKODA FAVORIT looked very similar to the series-production model at first glance, but it was a racing car through and through. The rigidity of the body, which was made of thinner sheet metal, was enhanced by a certified safety frame. In contrast to the standard version, the roof had a mechanical flap that improved ventilation in the interior. The windows and door panels, however, were from the series-production model. The upholstery and rear seat were removed, and several additional measures brought the kerb weight down to 750 kilograms.

The control panel was left unchanged, but the gauges and switches were adapted and positioned so that they could also be operated by the co-driver if required. The brake pressure was routed to the rear wheels via a brake power distributor, which could be adapted depending on the road conditions. A sports steering wheel, which drivers usually took with them from vehicle to vehicle, simplified the FAVORIT’s handling.

The engine had OHV valve timing; compared to the standard engine, the displacement increased from 1,289.4 to 1,299.6 cm3. The connecting rods, cams and other parts were new. Initially, the engine delivered 76 kW at 6,500 rpm; later, thanks to a Pierburg twin carburettor, the power increased to 88 kW at 7,000 rpm. A five-speed gearbox was used at first, but this was later replaced by a six-speed gearbox with spur toothing. The FAVORIT’s top speed was between 150 and 210 km/h, depending on the overall transmission ratio.

The white bodywork was originally finished with red and blue stripes, which later gave way to a chequered pattern in the same colours. This was replaced in 1993 by the green victory sign ‘V’ and red stripe – the emblem of RS cars today.

The ŠKODA FAVORIT 136 L/A, which had been modified for racing purposes, also held its own off the rally tracks on circuits and hill climbs. The FAVORIT 136 L/H, developed in 1989 for circuit racing, was particularly interesting from a technical perspective. The four-cylinder engine from the 790.16 OHC was a prototype with a larger displacement of 1,596 cm³. It had two Weber twin carburettors and generated 123 kW (167 hp) at 6,500 rpm; torque of 176 Nm was available at 5,500 rpm. The car reached a top speed of 240 km/h and accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6 seconds. The engine later benefited from direct injection and the power increased to 129 kW (175 hp). Among other events, this modified ŠKODA FAVORIT competed in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring where the trio Kvaizar/Samohýl/Obermann clinched a class victory.

Although the more modern ŠKODA FELICIA replaced the ŠKODA FAVORIT on the rally track in 1995, the FAVORIT remained on the starting lists of numerous races for many years as a sports vehicle that was both powerful and affordable.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

ŠKODA Motorsport is busy developing a rally version of the all-new ŠKODA FABIA. A first prototype of the future ŠKODA FABIA in Rally2 version has already been tested on tarmac and gravel roads in the Czech Republic, France and Spain.

The all-new ŠKODA FABIA is coming onto the international market. As the road car makes the switch from generation three to four, the rally version follows suit. ŠKODA Motorsport has already started testing the future ŠKODA FABIA in Rally2 version. A first prototype has been in action on gravel and tarmac stages in the Czech Republic, France and Spain recently.

“The all-new ŠKODA FABIA for the Rally2 category has entered the development and testing stage. Fortunately, our technicians can build on comprehensive know-how and expertise of the ongoing ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo project, which still is very successful worldwide,” comments Michal Hrabánek, Head of ŠKODA Motorsport.

Since April 2015, the ŠKODA FABIA is collecting more rally trophies than any other car in its category. Starting with a so-called R5 version, which has later been renamed to Rally2, the Czech rally car until today racked up nine titles in support categories to the FIA World Rally Championship, numerous regional and national championships, nearly 1.400 overall and class victories as well as close to 3.300 podium positions worldwide. ŠKODA Motorsport has already sold more than 400 units of the R5, Rally2 and Rally2 evo variants.

According to the Rally2 regulations of the FIA, the next generation Rally2 version of the ŠKODA FABIA is again powered by a 1.6 litres turbo petrol engine connected to a five-speed sequential gearbox and four-wheel drive with mechanical differentials.

Article source: www.skoda-storyboard.com

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