125 YEARS OF ŠKODA: iconic cars

125 YEARS OF ŠKODA: iconic cars

The exciting 125-year history of the ŠKODA brand is lined with a number of milestones: legendary automobiles and people making a name for themselves far away from the country of their birth. Take a look back at the cars that shaped the ŠKODA success story.

21. 1. 2020 125 let Škode

This year, many of the key moments in the history of ŠKODA that began in 1895 will be commemorated by articles in the ŠKODA Storyboard online magazine. They will invite you to places linked to this history and introduce you to the people who left their mark on it, as well as shining the spotlight on major motorsport successes and victories. The best way to start the retrospective of these 125 years is by showcasing the iconic models that made the company’s name during the social turbulence of the 20th century and continue to earn it acclaim today, at the dawn of the electric cars age.

  • 1905


    The first automobile to come out of the town of Mladá Boleslav followed up the successes of SLAVIA bicycles and LAURIN & KLEMENT motorcycles that culminated in 1905 with the title of unofficial world champion from Dourdan track near Paris. With its one-litre two-cylinder V engine, the L&K VOITURETTE A delivered what was then an adequate power output of seven horsepower and boasted outstanding handling and driving qualities and excellent value for money. The VOITURETTE A that could hit 40 km/h was followed in the subsequent years by more models, again named with letters.

  • 1911


    Production of the excellent S series lasted for a remarkable 14 years, making it a bestseller in the process: more than 2,000 of them were made. Partly thanks to the S series, LAURIN & KLEMENT soon became the biggest motor works in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1913, for example, the L&K Sg version came in ten basic body designs, including the Doctor or Lady coupés or the Progress utility version.

  • 1925


    In 1925, LAURIN & KLEMENT joined forces with one of the biggest machine engineering and armaments concerns in Central Europe, the Pilsen-based giant Škoda. The L&K/ŠKODA 110 transition model was available in a whole series of modifications, including soft-top and hard-top versions. The principle of two cars in one was implemented by the original modular design with a removable rear section: as a result, a proper passenger car could be converted into a practical two-seater flat-bed truck. This meant that a tradesman could use the car for Sunday outings with wife and kids having spent all week delivering goods in it.

  • 1934


    When the company was looking for a name for ŠKODA’s new flagship automobile in 1934, they picked SUPERB. The manufacture of the six-cylinder Š 640 SUPERB began in earnest in 1935. Its exclusive features included a built-in six-valve radio receiver and a rosewood side compartment separating the space for the driver from the comfort zone reserved for eminent passengers: politicians, diplomats and businessmen. Buyers included the Zlín-based shoe firm of Baťa, which also made tyres of the same name used on ŠKODA vehicles.

  • 1936

    ŠKODA POPULAR Monte Carlo

    In January 1936, a ŠKODA POPULAR came second in the sub-1,500 cm3 category in the tough Monte Carlo rally. The company struck while the iron was hot: shortly afterwards, they offered customers a sports car in roadster or coupé design in commemoration of this excellent racing result. In addition to progressive technical solutions like the stiff but light backbone frame, all-wheel independent suspension and a transaxle drive chain, the ŠKODA POPULAR Monte Carlo also won fans with its elegant aerodynamic body.  

  • 1959


    The ŠKODA OCTAVIA bore a melodious name. It was originally a Latin woman’s name meaning “eighth”. Why eighth? It was the eighth model developed by ŠKODA with a progressive backbone frame, but also the eighth model in the motor works’ post-war existence. Whatever the case, it became a bestseller whose qualities were proven by outstanding successes in demanding races and competitions, including a hat-trick in its class in the Monte Carlo rally. Scandinavian drivers in particular performed wonders in OCTAVIA cars on snow and ice. The basic version with a stepped rear end was soon joined by an even more practical ŠKODA OCTAVIA COMBI, which remained in production till 1971.   

  • 1959


    A contemporary and sister of the OCTAVIA was the soft-top ŠKODA FELICIA. Customers who so wished – and paid the surcharge – could buy the car with a removable laminate hard top as well as the textile roof. Speed demons longed for the more powerful “Super” version with two carburettors. In total, 14,863 of these icons of the turn of the 1950s and 60s were made. The 1960s FELICIA is one of the most popular ŠKODA veterans to this day, as evidenced by the fact that the FELICIA club founded in 1960 to bring together this model’s fans is still going strong.

  • 1964

    ŠKODA 1000 MB

    1964 saw the debut of a whole new generation of ŠKODA cars with a rear-mounted four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. One of Europe’s best cars of its day in the one-litre category, almost 443,000 “MBs” were made. Besides sophisticated technical designs like the engine block made by aluminium pressure-casting, an original Czech method, the new state-of-the-art part of the factory making it possible to substantially increase production was the pride of the Mladá Boleslav firm. In addition to the basic ŠKODA 1000 MB sedan and more powerful eleven-hundred model, there was also a two-door MBX modification. Rear-engine rear-wheel drives were very popular in European cars in the first half of the 1960s and ŠKODA continued to develop the design until the start of the 1990s.

  • 1970


    ŠKODA 110 R + ŠKODA 130 RS rallye

    The elegant ŠKODA 110 R coupé with the 2+2 seats configuration was the baby of the Kvasiny plant in East Bohemia. Most of the 57,000 “R” models headed abroad. It is not just the graceful roof lines that catch the eye, but the tasteful design of the B pillars of the body and doors without window frames – not to mention the anatomical seats and lavish dashboard. Age has done nothing to diminish the coupé’s popularity: among collectors it is a much sought-after representative of the 1970s. The 110 R was in 1975 the basis for another motorsports legend, the ŠKODA 130 RS. The RS’s performances on rally courses and circuits earned it the nickname “the Porsche of the east”. Its 1300-litre engine delivered 140-183 horsepower and top speeds of up to 220 km/h.  

  • 1987


    The FAVORIT model brought a fundamental change in ŠKODA drive systems from “all at the rear” to “all at the front”. The front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive were in line with the modern trends of the day, freeing up luggage room behind the collapsible rear seat row and allowing for estate and pick-up versions. Its well-balanced practical qualities helped create another legend of the ŠKODA brand. The body’s attractive design was the work of Italy’s acclaimed Bertone studio. The basic five-door hatchback was soon joined by the FORMAN estate, the PICK-UP goods vehicle and other versions, including ambulances: this family came to have over a million members

  • 1996


    1996 brought the ŠKODA first model entirely developed as part of the Volkswagen concern. It was also the first C-segment car in the brand’s modern history and, what’s more, a worthy bearer of the renowned OCTAVIA name. Buyers liked both its huge luggage space and the outstanding value for money it offered. The body, the first car body developed using CAD (Computer Aided Design) in the company’s history, was also very safe. The timeless elegant design was the work of an in-house team led by Dirk van Braeckel. Continually updated, the OCTAVIA I rolled off the assembly lines until 2010. Towards the end of its career it was manufactured in parallel with its second-generation successor. 

  • 2016


    In 2016, 40 years after the New Zealand multipurpose TREKKA was made using OCTAVIA Super sedan technology as its basis, the first member of ŠKODA’s new SUV family saw the light of day: the spacious KODIAQ, named after the powerful brown bear of Alaska. Its luggage room made it the most spacious SUV in its class. Its other strengths include state-of-the-art electronics, including assistance systems. The eCall emergency call function came as standard and the ŠKODA Connect App made it possible to locate, check up on and configure the vehicle remotely by smartphone. The KODIAQ was soon followed by more compact SUVs: the KAROQ and KAMIQ.  

  • 2019


    The first mass-produced, fully electric ŠKODA relies on a quiet and responsive 61 kW motor. The energy stored in lithium-ion battery cells with a 36.8 kWh capacity enables a driving range of 252 km in WLTP terms. Standard features include a number of online functions allowing remote activation of the air-conditioning, for example, battery charging or checking the ŠKODA CITIGO iV’s range, wherever you are.

  • 2019


    The ŠKODA SUPERB, the third modern generation of the brand’s flagship model, has enjoyed huge popularity since it premiered in 2015.  It is currently also available as the plug-in hybrid SUPERB iV: the 1.4 l supercharged four-cylinder petrol engine is paired with an electric motor, with the system output reaching 160 kW. Using the WLTP methodology, it can travel as far as 62 km in purely electric mode, but in combined mode with the combustion engine the SUPERB iV can go 930 km without having to fill up or recharge. In terms of its flexibility and ecology, it combines the best features of fully electric cars and combustion-engine cars.

  • 2019


    Since 1959, over 6 million OCTAVIA cars from ŠKODA factories in the Czech Republic and abroad have found their way to customers. November 2019 marked the start of the latest version’s career: the fourth modern OCTAVIA generation offered as a liftback or the even more spacious OCTAVIA COMBI estate. The new ŠKODA OCTAVIA runs on petrol, diesel or natural gas and is even available as a plug-in hybrid as the OCTAVIA iV. The exceptionally low resistance from the very spacious but streamlined body contributes to its efficient, ecological and quiet running. A wide range of state-of-the-art assistance systems adds even more practicality, a traditional attribute of the Czech brand’s bestseller. 

  • 2019


    In spring 2019, the ŠKODA VISION iV concept study, a four-door crossover coupé built on concern’s modular electromobility platform (MEB) caused a big stir. The advantage of MEB-based cars over cars where the electric drive system is bolted on to conventional platforms include optimal use of the enclosed space, creating more room for occupants and luggage. Mass production of the definitive form of this revolutionary model will get going in 2020. Cars for the European market will be made in the main factory in Mladá Boleslav.