“We have lots more Simply Clever ideas in store”

“We have lots more Simply Clever ideas in store”

Did you know that the washer fluid tank cap does not only fit on ŠKODA cars? Do you know why the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV has its ice scraper compartment in the boot door and not in the fuel tank cap? Read on and find out where Simply Clever ideas for ŠKODA cars come from.

24. 2. 2021 Škoda World Innovation & technology

We can find roughly 30 to 40 Simply Clever features in today’s modern ŠKODA cars, and each new model brings new Simply Clever ideas. “The new ŠKODA ENYAQ iV comes with a number of new Simply Clever features, such as the sleep package, storage compartments in the front doors including umbrellas, two USB connectors, a cable cleaner and a lot more. Some find their way into other ŠKODA models, and others are available to customers in Configurator as options or add-ons,” explains Simply Clever team member Miloš Jambor.

One of the new Simply Clever features is a cleaning system for the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV charging cable.

Simply Clever ideas are the daily bread of his Mladá Boleslav-based team. “We have small teams that come up with Simply Clever ideas and we also support the generation of these ideas in the departments in charge of the development of specific parts of cars,” says Ladislav Kraus, who is responsible for some Simply Clever solutions. “We encourage all our colleagues to come up with ideas and then we help put these ideas into practice. We still have lots of new ideas in store,” he smiles.

Where Simply Clever ideas come from

The first step is always a functional model and the necessary diagrams. These make their way to the Purchasing department. A tender is held to find a supplier. And after the part is supplied, sampling in the Quality department takes around eight or nine weeks. All the details are fine-tuned, the material is modified, and tests are run to make sure the final part is suitably high-quality and looks good. The process depends on the complexity of the part – it can last months or even two years. The goal is always the same: to find the best functional solution that is Simply Clever.

Our funnel-cap on Amazon 

Development and long-term care are two big advantages of Simply Clever features, as many of them are not tied to a particular model and are designed with universality in mind. This means that owners of older models can add new features to their car whenever they want. One example is the simple washer fluid reservoir cap that also functions as a funnel to make it easier to top up the fluid. Anyone whose car doesn’t have this funnel can simply buy one and replace their existing reservoir cap with it. This useful aid costs less than 4 euros in the ŠKODA e-shop.

How the washer fluid tank cap came about

And the feature is not confined to ŠKODA cars. “Anyone can buy this cap. It fits on a number of Volkswagen Group cars and other brands as well. The Simply Clever feature is so popular that it is even sold by other vendors. On Amazon, for example, some suppliers offer our cap for over 17 euros,” Ladislav Kraus says with a laugh. 

Surprisingly, the development process for a seemingly trivial thing like this “revolutionary” cap was pretty long. “There were several alternative designs. We came up with ideas, tested them and modified them to make sure everything worked perfectly. The cap had to be strong and also big enough to ensure that the foam that forms when the fluid is poured does not overflow. These are small details, but they took up a lot of time,” recalls Kraus, adding that his team tried out five different versions of this simple but clever detail.

New Simply Clever features for the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV

New hooks in the luggage compartment: compact and airy design

Light in the boot door: it illuminates the edge of the boot and a small area behind the car as well

Cable bag behind the mudguard: a simple, washable bag for a dirty cable

Organiser beneath the elevated floor: tidy storage for tools, equipment required by law, cargo elements or a cable.

Mobile phone pocket on the back of the front headrests

Charging connector cap: prevents the charging cable from getting frozen stuck

Light in the storage compartment beneath the centre console

Drinks holder for receptacles of any size: the central partition between the two holders can be shifted, and the partition includes a parking card holder

Storage slots for two mobile phones in the front: the left-hand slot has wireless charging

Jumbo box organiser

Universal bag for device charging cables (accessory)

Cable cleaner: two sponges that grip the cable and clean it when the cable is pulled out

Theft-proofing the ice scraper

Sometimes a small change in a Simply Clever feature is necessitated by the situation. The famous ice-scraper, for example, which almost all ŠKODA models kept in the fuel tank lid, was moved to the boot door in the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV. But even the ENYAQ iV has a lid, though in its case the lid covers the charging connector. “When the ENYAQ iV is charging, the lid remains open and unsupervised for the entire charging time, so we wanted to prevent the ice-scraper from being stolen,” explains Miloš Jambor.

Miloš JamborMiloš Jambor
Simply Clever team member 

Simply Clever is in our DNA

Clever, practical but unexpectedly simple solutions have always been part of ŠKODA’s history. Although the Simply Clever slogan only appeared relatively recently after the Czech carmaker became part of Volkswagen Group, we can find the origins of this philosophy in the first vehicles made in Mladá Boleslav. The first LAURIN & KLEMENT motorcycle had its engine mounted in the “logical” position on the lower part of the frame and not over the front wheel, which was the norm on motorcycles made abroad in those days. And in 1925 the ŠKODA 110 ushered in the concept of two bodies in one, an idea that was repeated by the second-generation ŠKODA SUPERB in 2008.

But that’s not the only change that the Simply Clever ice-scraper has undergone over the years. Its first version was made of polycarbonate, but that was too hard and could scratch glass if used wrongly. The second generation had functional surfaces made from soft polyamide, while the latest generation can even measure the depth of your tyre tread. 

The technical development of all Simply Clever features is documented in detail. 

Unlike the ice-scraper, other Simply Clever features are model-specific. That mainly applies to the series of new ideas linked to the all-electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV SUV. The beautifully simple cable cleaner, for example, which is a plastic sheath with two sponges, would be pointless in non-electric models. But there is still a lot of room for more Simply Clever ideas in the new world of all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

“We have lots more ideas. Some are already developed and simply waiting for their chance,” says Kraus. Development of some of these ideas can last as long as the development of the car itself, but in other cases it is a fairly rapid process, with the Simply Clever feature reaching the customer just six months after the idea was born.

Ladislav Kraus

He has been with ŠKODA since 1 August 1983, when he became a dashboard developer after completing his studies at the Liberec Technical University. He worked on the dashboards for the FAVORIT and FELICIA models as an assistant constructor. He later worked on the development of seat frames, before moving to the derivatives development unit at the Vrchlabí plant. There he worked on the FAVORIT VanPlus with a laminate superstructure, as well as the utility version and ambulance version. He became head of derivatives development at the Kvasiny plant in 1995, overseeing the preparation of the unique FELICIA Fun pickup and the VW Caddy and, later, the FABIA sedan model.

Ladislav Kraus

“In the year 2000 we became part of central development at the Mladá Boleslav plant. Since then, our department has worked on luggage compartment design. I’m in charge of that and development of interior panelling: besides the dashboard, that means the centre console and door and seat fills,” he says, listing his current responsibilities. “It was out of this work that the little group developing Simply Clever features took shape,” he adds. Obviously, the department he runs takes out a lot of patents. “We want to support patent creativity as much as possible, because it’s been proven to make sense,” he says.

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