Road to Stockholm with the KAROQ, Part 1: Czechia

Road to Stockholm with the KAROQ, Part 1: Czechia

Follow the unique journey of a camouflaged KAROQ from its hometown to the world premiere. Here is the first part of its trip, which started in the Czech Republic.

17. 5. 2017 MODELS KAROQ

ŠKODA Storyboard Liveticker – KAROQ World Premiere



Modesty and simplicity

What links an ancient glass tradition and a successful Czech carmaker with more than a hundred years of history? Above all, its approach to the craft. “Glass is not just for the chosen ones; it brings value and beauty to all people in the world. Even if they don’t realize it, they still feel it. Everyone likes to drink good wine from a beautiful glass. You could even drink it from the bottle, but the experience would be quite different,” explains Jiří Hadaščok.

The combination of both worlds also marks the fact that the ŠKODA brand looks for a balance between value, everyday usability, and emotional design. “Water is simple, clean and beautiful. But maybe even too ordinary for somebody. When you look at a diamond, you will find similarly genuine purity, simplicity and beauty, but at a completely different price. For us it’s the crystal glass that offers the right balance somewhere in between,” he adds.

Crystal as an inspiration. KAROQ is a tribute to Bohemian glass

For centuries, world-renowned Bohemian glass has made a good name for local skilled craftsmen, so it’s only natural that it’s one of the most important sources of inspiration for the young-school designers when creating ŠKODA cars.

Renowned glassworks began in the Bohemian Mountains during the 13th century, and their main customers became the monasteries, towns, and important noble families. The birth of Bohemian crystal and the development of artistic and crafted glassworks in the following centuries helped spread their fame worldwide. Czech glassmaking companies still rank among the world’s top companies today. Designer Jiří Hadaščok confirms that inspiration by glass has played its part in designing the shape of ŠKODA KAROQ.




Design is part of life

Even before Alex sets out in his camouflaged KAROQ to his next stop on his big trip from Mladá Boleslav to Stockholm, he took a chance to “stand in a designer’s shoes” in the Lasvit showroom in Prague. Together with Jiří Hadaščok, using a glass model, he tried to capture the seemingly simple but in fact relatively refined shape that customers will find in headlights.

“When you draw, you’re not thinking about the pencil or your hands. You’re only thinking about what you do. We want people to use our cars the same way. Just as their favourite armchair, for example. To be a space where kids can play, families travel to enjoy their holidays and our cars become a natural part of their life,” continues Hadaščok as he skillfully draws the outlines of headlights. “In the glassworks, people put their art, ideas, and experiences into crystal. Similarly, we are also trying to get the same into our cars,” Hadaščok says at the end of this short design meeting.

ŠKODA Storyboard Liveticker – KAROQ World Premiere


The new KAROQ unexpectedly appears in Prague

The anxiously awaited ŠKODA KAROQ is heading from Mladá Boleslav to its world premiere in Stockholm. Its first stop on its unique nearly 1,600-kilometer long trip was the historical centre of Prague. The Czech people have traditionally been very proud of their home brand, so the masked prototype of the compact SUV on the banks of the Vltava River naturally attracted attention. And because people all over the world have come to love the practical SUVs in recent years, even the foreign visitors were surprised. It was the first time that the car approached the public within touching distance. “It’s really nice. We’d have no problem driving such a car back home,” said a couple who came to Prague from Hawaii. One visitor from China was taken by the camouflage – he would like his own KAROQ in this very combination.

Let it come already!
“People most often ask about the size of the car and the price. I was surprised, however, by how many people have already decided that the KAROQ will be their next car,” says Alex, who set off with the camouflaged car on a multi-day road trip for fans. The price of this new model will remain close to its predecessor, so for approximately the same money customers will get significantly more – in terms of the car itself and an entirely new technology. Inside, there’s noticeably more room for passengers and luggage – the trunk now ranges from 510 to 1,630 liters.




The camouflaged KAROQ in the centre of Prague also captures the attention of a tall man with a curly-haired daughter in his arms: “A few months ago I bought a KODIAQ and I’m very happy with it. I’m going to buy a car for my wife, so we’re looking forward to the KAROQ’s premiere without the camouflage. I think her new car will also be ŠKODA,” he adds with a smile.

I think that the KAROQ will be a great car

And he’s by no means the only one who remains faithful to the brand. “It’s a very nice car. We’ve always had a ŠKODA car and we’re waiting for this model. When will it come to the market?” one Czech couple asks, stopping at the masked KAROQ. The reaction of other Czechs makes

it clear that the ŠKODA is at home here. “I’ve already had plenty of cars in this brand, specifically the models FAVORIT, FELICIA, FABIA, and OCTAVIA. I think that the KAROQ will be a great car for young people,” says one woman with a large family.



The Golden Age of the SUV

It’s certainly no coincidence that ŠKODA has launched its historically largest model offensive in the SUV segment. This has been the most popular category in Europe for two years, and 3.9 million such cars have been sold in the past year alone. Worldwide, every fourth car sold is an SUV. The arrival of the KAROQ and KODIAQ models will undoubtedly improve these numbers.

·  Between 2015 and 2016 alone, the European SUV market grew by more than a fifth, by far the most from all categories.

·  Nowadays, SUVs make up to 27 percent of new cars sold; 25.7 percent in Europe and 20.5 percent in the Czech Republic.

·  In addition, China is experiencing a boom now, bringing the entire segment back to a new level.



ŠKODA Storyboard Liveticker – KAROQ World Premiere


Drivers of these thoroughly masked test cars usually have one main task – to stay out of the way and not to allow anyone to get too close to the car. Every photo taken of such a prototype is then worth gold. This time, however, everything is completely the opposite. The ŠKODA KAROQ has been shown to people on its almost 1,600-kilometer-long ride from Mladá Boleslav to Stockholm and can be photographed by everyone. Alex, the driver, received clear instructions – smile, answer all the questions, and meet with as many ŠKODA fans as possible.




What are test prototypes actually? When a carmaker invests into developing a new model, not even the best computer simulations are enough. The real characteristics of the vehicle under preparation are shown only through the reality of the real world beyond the walls of the development centre. This is precisely why such carefully guarded prototypes are needed.


At first, a so-called “mule” takes to the road. The technology of the upcoming model is inserted into the modified body of an existing or eventually developed chassis so that it looks like a model already on the road. This is how basic tests are carried out to verify the entire concept.


Other prototypes are gradually developed that are closer to the serial car. They have many types of camouflage – some are used for tests of cooling, others for all-wheel drive, and others for circuit dynamics. The expensive measuring technology records hundreds of different data while driving.


The tests are conducted all over the world. The winter ŠKODA testing centre is in New Zealand, brakes are tested on Austria’s highest mountain Grossglockner. Test tracks and circuits are also used. There is a high-speed track in Italy and demanding courses in Germany. This applies to all ŠKODAS, not just for the sporty RS models.


During the development, hundreds of prototypes will emerge. The nearly-finished cars are then presented by the automaker management to fine-tune all the details. For the KAROQ, five advanced prototypes were created for this purpose.


Finally, the presentation prototypes built for exhibitions and the pre-series cars are created for the first press showings and dealer testings.


A unique opportunity

Safety measures around the testing prototypes sometimes seem more like the protection created for a nuclear submarine. A team of specially trained professionals looks after the safety of the machines, and only carefully selected people on a special list may approach the car. That's why Alex's journey to his fans before the world premiere of the ŠKODA KAROQ is so extraordinary. The Mladá Boleslav ŠKODA carmaker is changing the rules of the game from the ground up.



Who is Alex?

Alex Montyro


Alex is a globetrotter. A Canadian from Montréal, he lived in China for 9 years and has now fallen in love with Europe. He lives in Prague, which, together with Berlin, is his favourite popular city. He speaks both English and Mandarin and is also learning Spanish because of his girlfriend. And since it seems that he’ll be in the beautiful Czech Republic for a while, he’s also thinking about learning some Czech. He loves hockey, plays with a band in Prague clubs, and if he weren’t real, you’d have to make him up. This is Alex Montyro, the man we’ve entrusted with the car keys from the rare prototype of the ŠKODA KAROQ.

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Related Stories Based on tags: 2017, design, Karoq, Mladá Boleslav, SUV