The new Superb on the Tour de France: in unique camouflage

The new Superb on the Tour de France: in unique camouflage

The world got a glimpse of the new Škoda Superb on the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris, albeit in a unique camouflage that chimes with the race’s principles and the brand’s strategy.

24. 7. 2023 Škoda World

The new generation of the Superb is set for its world premiere this autumn, but the final stage of the famous Tour de France cycling race offered another hint at what we can expect. In Paris, the new Superb featured as the race director’s car during the traditional finish of the peloton on the Champs-Elysées. This is the twentieth time Škoda cars have appeared in this role – the same as the number of years the Czech carmaker has been a partner of the world’s most famous cycling race.

To avoid the Combi version being completely revealed in Paris before the world premiere, the Superb was decked out in special camouflage that was inspired by the map graphics. “Our aim was to create a design that would not only be functional as camouflage, but also resonate with meaning for both the Škoda brand and the Tour de France itself. I think by using maps as the basis of our camouflage we were able to combine these elements," says Michael Lansdorf from the Škoda marketing team.

Michael_Lansdorf_61bdb57fMichael Lansdorf
Škoda marketing team

Fostering the spirit of exploration

With its new “Let’s Explore” strategy, Škoda wants to foster the spirit of adventure, and the map concept is a perfect fit with this philosophy. “It inspires individuals to embark on extraordinary journeys and discover new horizons,” explains Head of Brand strategy & content production at Škoda Veronika Ziegaus. The map also reflects certain characteristics of the car it was used to disguise. “The pattern exudes versatility, practicality and a love of exploration, which are clear attributes of the Superb Combi,” she adds.

Veronika-Ziegaus_189e9879 Veronika Ziegaus
Head of Brand strategy & content production at Škoda

What’s more, the camouflage has to achieve that goal when viewed from all possible angles and distances. “It’s actually the opposite of what a designer’s job usually is. We usually look for harmony, but here we are trying to figure out how to disrupt the harmony of surfaces and lines,” Petr Petzet says with a smile. One factor his team had to take into account when designing the camouflage was that the car would be riding at the front of the peloton, where red cars are typically found. The camouflage therefore maintains this tradition and continues along the path that Škoda Auto, as a Tour de France partner, set off down many years ago.

While the idea of using a map as a link between a prestigious cycling race, the Czech carmaker’s values and the characteristics of the car itself might seem brilliantly simple, the preparation of the camouflage was not easy. Peter Petzet, project manager and graphic designer who worked on the implementation of the camouflage, confirms this. “The purpose of the camouflage was to promote our spirit of exploration. But at the same time, the camouflage has to do its job, using patterns, irregular shapes and contrasting colours to break up the surfaces and make it difficult for the human eye to take in the lines of the car underneath,” he explains.

Photo Ondřej Kalmán

Petr-Petzet_b96225b2 Petr Petzet
project manager and graphic designer