How to get a Kodiaq into a metro station

How to get a Kodiaq into a metro station

Ladies and gentlemen, the new Škoda Kodiaq! Four SUVs drive into a tunnel full of guests, coloured lights and flashing cameras. The global premiere is reaching its climax. But extraordinary preparations had been required to make the whole thing possible.

11. 10. 2023 Škoda World

The global premiere of the new Kodiaq took place in early October in the centre of Berlin, right underneath Potsdamer Platz where overground and underground railway lines cross. Just a few metres below the spot where thousands of tourists and locals pass through every day there are huge underground spaces hidden away – these are only occasionally used for social events.

Built in the 1990s as a station on the U3 metro line, the space was never used for its original purpose, but now it is a perfect encapsulation of Škoda’s Let’s explore philosophy. 

The first thing Škoda had to do was find a way to get all of its six Kodiaq SUVs into the underground tunnel, which is sealed up on both sides. “The only way in was through one of the entrances to the underground station, via the stairs leading down from the square,” says Petr Kavrentzis, who was responsible for transporting the cars to the global premiere. “We had to put skids down over the entire staircase, and then we lowered the cars down them with the help of a tow truck winch,” he explains. What’s more, to keep the new model’s appearance secret, the cars were covered in tarpaulins, which certainly don’t improve the driver’s view!

Petr Kavrentzis
press cars coordinator

The cars were covered with camouflage tarps before the underground premiere.

Lowering the cars down into the underground station was the most difficult part, but not the only challenge. The cars had to squeeze through often very narrow spaces to get to the exact positions chosen for the global premiere. When you think that the new Kodiaq is bigger than its predecessor, it’s obvious that this manoeuvring required everyone’s total attention and focus.

The same applies to the four Kodiaqs’ short but spectacular drive through the tunnel, which is when the new car’s looks were revealed for the very first time. “To make it more exciting and dramatic, the cars were driven in near darkness punctuated by a fancy flashing light show,” says Kavrentzis, explaining what made life difficult for the drivers.

The new Kodiaq driving through the Berlin underground during the global premiere.

“Logistics were key at this global premiere,” confirms Vítězslav Kodym, Škoda’s head of product communication, who was in charge of the event as a whole and the choice of location. “Germany is one of the key markets for the Kodiaq and for Škoda cars in general. Finding such a unique, virtually unknown location right in the heart of Berlin to stage an event for 350 guests was a challenge, but the excellent teamwork from everyone involved helped us crack it.”

vitezslav_kodym_44039fceVítězslav Kodym
head of product communication at Škoda

Kodym points out that one of the big advantages of the space under Potsdamer Platz was the several hundred metres long tunnel originally planned for the underground. “It allowed us to present the new Kodiaq not only statically, but also with a short drive. The premiere was attractive both for the guests at the event and for everyone watching the live stream. Another big bonus was the opportunity to show six cars at once, so everyone had plenty of time during the evening to get to know the car, with space to shoot videos and interview experts,” he says. 

It’s no exaggeration to say that the new Kodiaq is a truly capable SUV that won’t shy away from any environment, even an underground station.

Klaus Drives

Škoda CEO Klaus Zellmer’s latest video was also filmed at the premiere of the newest Škoda Kodiaq. Join him as he explores the world beneath Berlin at the wheel of the new SUV.