Debut student car in India: a Rapid cabriolet
The academy run by Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) has presented its first ever student car project. A team composed of students from the 3.5 year “mechatronics” course has designed a cabriolet based on the Škoda Rapid sedan.
Some interesting details show that the students really went to town with the car. These include a retractable Škoda badge on the bonnet, elegant LED lights on the radiator grille and an illuminated Škoda sign on the boot cover. There are also a number of sporty visual elements, such as an array of black accessories with a yellow line or brake callipers painted yellow.
CEO and chairman of the board of SAVWIPL Piyush Arora (right) and head of HR and administration of Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited Sarma Chillara with students during the first ever student dream car project in India.
There were numerous modifications to the interior, with the radio replaced by a modern tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system. The need to integrate safety belts into the structure of the front seats – because cabriolets don’t have B-pillars – was a technical challenge. The seats were given scarlet leather covers, and the entire experience is emphasised by the engine noise emphasised with a sports exhaust system.
“We’re pleased to be able to present the student car project in India, which gives technical college students a unique opportunity to design and make their dream car by reimagining one of the standard Škoda models and endow it with innovative ideas. The project is perfectly aligned with our commitment to train talents and promote innovation in the Indian automotive industry,” said Piyush Arora, SAVWIPL CEO and chairman of the board.
CEO and chairman of the Board of SAVWIPL
Following the Czech example
The Indian project is based on Azubi Car, the project for Škoda Academy students in Czechia that has been running since 2013. The annual project lasts for the entire academic year and is mainly for third-year students. The project aims to develop their expertise, improve practical skills and, last but not least, foster teamwork.
It all began ten years ago with a small runabout called Citijet. This year, the students are making the tenth Azubi car, an interesting take on the Enyaq iV electric SUV combining a mobile office with comfortable living space and sleeping arrangements for people who love exploring the great outdoors.
The first Indian student dream car is a cabriolet based on the Škoda Rapid which was the very first Škoda car developed specifically for the Indian market. The Rapid for India has always differed in technical terms from cars sold in Europe. The sedan made in the factory in Puna is built on the PQ25 platform that was the foundation for small and compact Volkswagen Group cars before the current MQB platform.