The 25 apprentices at the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav have reached the next milestone, having almost finished building the ŠKODA AFRIQ. The eighth ŠKODA Apprentice Car commemorates the legendary Dakar Rally and is the first one to be created in collaboration with ŠKODA Motorsport since the long-standing initiative was first launched. Now testing begins on the spectacular rally variant of the KAMIQ city SUV before the one-off vehicle is presented to the media and the public this spring. The name AFRIQ, chosen by the vocational students, also points to ŠKODA AUTO’s responsibility for all the Volkswagen Group’s activities in North Africa, the original home of the ‘Dakar’.
“We’ve worked hard over the past few months, and it’s great to finally be standing in front of the car. Working with the different departments at ŠKODA and the experts from ŠKODA Motorsport was a fantastic experience that we’ll take with us into our professional lives. Now we can’t wait for the test drives with the ŠKODA AFRIQ, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the vehicle performs on the road,” says Anna Střížková.
To make the eighth ŠKODA Apprentice Car suitable for off-road use, the vocational students incorporated the drivetrain of a ŠKODA OCTAVIA 4×4 into the AFRIQ’s chassis. The experts from ŠKODA Motorsport provided support with their technical expertise for the rally-specific interior equipment. In the concept car, the passengers sit on racing seats from the successful ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, complete with five-point seat belts. The vocational school students have once again turned the eighth ŠKODA Apprentice Car into a truly unique vehicle with many new and unusual ideas. The initiative is a testament to the high quality of the training at the vocational school in Mladá Boleslav, which was founded in 1927. Alongside their teachers, the apprentices traditionally receive support from engineers and employees from the Technical Development, Design and Production areas and, for the first time in the current project, ŠKODA Motorsport.
Zdeněk Stanke, Team Leader at the ŠKODA Academy, says: “Watching the ŠKODA Apprentice Car gradually come to life is always exciting. Seeing the ŠKODA AFRIQ almost finished now – as teachers, we enjoy this moment just as much as the students. I am thrilled by how much attention the apprentices and teachers have paid to the details of this vehicle. Inside, you feel like you’re in a professional rally car, waiting for the start signal for the next special stage.”