Icons Get a Makeover: a sporting legend for the 21<sup>st</sup> century

Icons Get a Makeover: a sporting legend for the 21st century

ŠKODA WORLD DESIGN

What would the legendary ŠKODA 200 RS look like through the eyes of today’s designers? Take a look into their world of imagination and find out what inspires them.

21. 10. 2021

Daniel Petr describes himself as the “part of the furniture” in the ŠKODA Design department. He is one of the oldest designers in the company. His specialities include sports derivatives of ŠKODA cars and car design for ŠKODA Motorsport. That makes it unsurprising that he chose the ŠKODA 200 RS for his modern interpretation of a ŠKODA icon in the Icons Get a Makeover series.

“I worked for ŠKODA Motorsport on the design of the OCTAVIA WRC,” recalls Daniel Petr of his first steps in designing ŠKODA racing cars. “His” OCTAVIA WRC and the 200 RS, which Daniel decided to transform into its modern form, have a lot in common: they were both outstanding modifications whose task was to compete for the top positions in the overall World Rally Championship classification.

But the ŠKODA 200 RS was a bit unlucky. Before the experts at ŠKODA AUTO could set it up to win during the 1974 and 1975 seasons, the rules changed. So ŠKODA changed its strategy and the glorious era of the 130 RS arrived, which incidentally has also already received a modern interpretation in our series.

Thoroughly modern

For his interpretation of the 200 RS, Daniel Petr decided to go down the route of a completely distinctive design for the 21st century. “I tried to preserve the red and white graphics that are typical of the 200 RS. Back then it was the factory colours. I also transferred some details to the new design, but I didn’t want the car to look like the original at first glance,” says Daniel. “I wanted there to be visible progress in the car’s lines, to make the car really modern.” 

And he succeeded. The silhouette references the original 200 RS, whose roof was lowered by 15 centimetres compared to the mass-produced ŠKODA 110 R. But the chiselled lines with modern details such as the triangular LED headlights, the air intake on the roof, the distinctive rear-view mirrors and the large rear diffuser make Daniel’s interpretation a modern supercar. The keen observer will notice the nods to the past: the graphics on the side windows, the radiator grille, the rear spoiler and the golden wheels pay clear homage to the original 200 RS. According to the designer, it is also a reminder of 120 years of ŠKODA Motorsport. It is this important anniversary that the factory team is celebrating this year.

ŠKODA 200 RS

The ŠKODA 200 RS racing special is actually the predecessor of the legendary and much more successful 130 RS. Work on the car began in 1973 and it was a true racing special: the Czech carmaker had to develop its two-litre four-cylinder engine with 120 kW of power at the time. The car had a redesigned front axle compared to the production 110 R, and the twist-beam rear suspension was completely new. The car had aluminium body panels and it weighed in at just over 800 kilograms. The car took part in competitions in 1974 and 1975. Only two examples were built: the third type was the 180 RS with a 1.8 litre engine.

A functional racing car

Daniel has a great deal of experience in designing racing cars, so he tried to stick to principles that would allow such a car to actually be used in races, even for his project. “Finding a compromise between functionality and beautiful design is always a challenge with racing cars. But I’m so steeped in it after all these years that I tried to achieve that with a car purely from my imagination,” he says. In his opinion, this way the car doesn’t look “far out”: the details are thought out in a way that works and still makes the car look modern. “I thought about the engine and brake cooling, for example, the aerodynamic elements, the overall ergonomics of the car,” says Dan. 

He says the proportions were true to the original, so today it would be a compact sports car. With the engine at the back, of course. “But I didn’t give much thought to the powertrain: the car should definitely have an internal combustion engine, and hybrid technology could certainly be used,” the designer reflects on his vision.

Same as ever

He also says that he worked on his vision of a modern 200 RS in much the same way as he works on any other project. “The first thing I always do is reach for pencil and paper and do some sketching. Here, in my spare time, I put in about 10 minutes sketching the basic proportions and typical shapes, looking for what the car ought to have,” Daniel says. After finding the basic lines, he says, he moves on to working on the computer, where he elaborates on the theme. “I add details, colours, wheels,” he explains. In his spare time, he worked on the look of the modern 200 RS for about three weeks.

The result is stunning. The modern ŠKODA 200 RS undoubtedly references the original, while featuring a modern design and elements not found elsewhere in ŠKODAs, but at the same time it is a typical representative of the Czech brand. 

Daniel Petr

Daniel Petr is one of the longest-serving members of ŠKODA Design. Over time, he developed into a specialist in certain derivative models, for example designing the Monte Carlo and RS sports versions. He is the author of the design of the OCTAVIA WRC special, for example, or the current racing equipment for the ŠKODA FABIA WRC, ŠKODA FABIA S2000 and ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. For the new generation of the FABIA, for example, he came up with a special camouflage so that the car could be tested by selected journalists before its premiere. Even in his spare time Daniel is keen on motorsport. He looks after his own ŠKODA 100 rally car, which coincidentally has the same former red and white factory colours as the 200 RS. And he takes part in historic rally events with this car.

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