Here’s how the in-house competition works. All the apprentices are invited to dream up a variation of an existing ŠKODA model. The plans, which this year ran to more than 90 in total, are assessed by the management team. They then award a winner, and that lucky design is built as one-off car. But – and this is the important bit – it isn’t the experienced production line or ŠKODA engineers who build it, but the team of apprentices themselves. In this case it was 26 of them, all of whom were under twenty and most of whom had never met before.
The result? A sleek, urban, punchy little number which has been christened the ATERO. The name is apt, because it comes from the Latin word for “black” and it certainly has something of the dark night – or even the Dark Knight – about it. Sprayed with ŠKODA’s signature metallic Black Magic, it’s the kind of car, as one apprentice said, you could call a “superhero auto” – one that Bruce Wayne’s alter ego might drive if he decided to take to the cobbled streets of Prague.
It has certainly inspired the teenagers who built it. We asked four of them if they could drive the ATERO anywhere or see it feature in an exciting film, where would they go and what would that movie be. They gave us some very different destinations; all of them racy, all of them exciting, all of them suited to jet-black ATERO.