Skoda Will Turn the Kodiaq into a Pickup Truck - Well, Kind Of
It’s a nice "what if?" in the event we don’t see this concept hit productionby Kirby, on
For six years, the Skoda Vocational School for Mechanical Engineering has become the playground for aspiring automotive design students who are looking to break into the auto industry. For six years, the Skoda Vocational School for Mechanical Engineering has given birth to several one-off concepts, one more unique than the other. This time, 35 students from the institution took part in the designing, developing, and building the latest one-off concept: the Kodiaq pickup. It’s highly unlikely that the Kodiaq concept will make it to production — none of the other five one-off concepts have ever reached that point — but it does point to a nice “what if?” on the part of the Czech automaker. It’s been almost 20 years since we last saw Skoda offer a pickup in the market. It might not be a production version of this concept, but who knows, maybe we could see one again sooner than later.
2020 Skoda Kodiaq Pickup
The Skoda Kodiaq is a very capable SUV. It doesn’t have the flash and panache of premium SUVs in its class. It’s not a large SUV with copious amounts of space and muscle-flexing towing capacity. Heck, it’s not even what you’d call a normal SUV from a high-volume automaker. The Kodiaq doesn’t fall in any of those categories, and yet, it somehow draws from each of them, too. It features a bit of that Euro SUV design swag. It’s not short on space and functionality, and it’s as close to a fuel-efficient SUV in the market today. Now imagine if the Kodiaq evolved from an SUV to a pickup. What would that look like? 35 students from Skoda’s Vocational School for Mechanical Engineering came up with the answer, and it is intriguing, to say the least.
We only have one rendering of the rear quarter section of the Kodiaq pickup, but you can tell its configuration right off the bat. The bed is easy to spot, even if it doesn’t look that long.
All the design elements of the Kodiaq SUV are in place, right down to the taillight design, diffuser, and the character lines that proliferate the side panels of the pickup.
The wheels are preposterously huge. They actually make the rendering look like a cross between a pickup, ute, and monster truck. But those wheels are probably for show on paper. Once Skoda builds a life-sized version of the one-off concept, expect to see normal wheels on those. We don’t get to see the front section of the rendering, which, in part, is a shame, but also a bit exciting. It’s nice to see a bit of mystery surrounding Skoda. It seems like it rarely happens, though that’s because it does rarely happen.
Unfortunately, a life-sized concept version is the farthest the Skoda Kodiaq pickup will go unless the Czech automaker loves it so much that it gives the green light to have it produced. It’s not like Skoda is short on resources; it has the entire Volkswagen group of companies behind it. But if history is a precedent, a production version is not in the cards. It’s a shame because the six-year-old program has created some pretty crazy concepts over the years, beginning in 2014.
2014 Skoda CitiJet Concept
The Skoda CitiJet Concept was the first concept that was built under this program.
It was unveiled in 2014 at the GTI Festival in Worthersee, Austria. Sure, the CitiJet was really just a dramatically stylized version of the Skoda’s popular CitiGo compact city car, but the team of 16 interns that worked on the project found a way to make it look totally and uniquely different. The compact car’s roof, for example, was chopped off completely, giving the CitiJet a sweet convertible vibe. The interns followed that up by dressing up the concept in a two-tone blue and white paint finish, complete with offsetting racing-striped liveries. A Ferrari F40-style rear wing was added at the back while the rear section benefits from a pair of asymmetrical roll hoops and dual exhaust tips. Power was provided by the CitiGo’s stock 1.0-liter engine, but the output was raised from 60 horsepower to 75 horsepower. The interior featured touches of red, black, and white — a curious mix given the blue and white exterior — while a 300-watt sound system and music-reactive LED lighting served as solid finishing touches. Nothing came out of the CitiJet Concept except a few curious looks, but it still succeeded in starting a program that has become an annual exercise in Mladá Boleslav.
2015 Skoda FUNstar Concept
Believe it or not, but the Skoda Kodiaq pickup isn’t the first pickup concept to come out of Skoda’s Vocational School for Mechanical Engineering. That’s because, back in 2015, the Skoda FUNstar Concept was born.
Based on the Fabia supermini, the FUNstar Concept took the program’s objective to a new level by completely transforming the Fabia into a full-blown, if still a little tiny pickup.
The latter half of the Fabia was completely taken out and replaced with a tiny bed. The concept’s body also featured a three-tone color setup, separated, in part, by the concept’s character lines. The top section of the FUNstar was finished in white while the middle section received a gray finish.
Meanwhile, the lowest area of the concept’s body was decked in a colorful neon green finish. Green neon lights and LED projectors displaying the company logo were installed in the underbody. These two themes would continue later in future Skoda concepts that trace their own roots to the automaker’s academy. The FUNstar also featured a dual-vented hood and reinforcements on the sides, as well as a widened B pillar that was necessary to handle its transformation from a mild-mannered hatchback to an attention-grabbing pickup. The interior also benefited from a few custom touches, none more significant than a 1,400-watt sound system that included a powerful 200-watt subwoofer, a three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in leather, and a touchscreen infotainment system with support for smartphone connectivity.
2016 Skoda Atero Coupe Concept
Following the success of the CitiJet and Funstar concepts, a new batch of student interns decided to one-up its predecessor with their own creation, called the Skoda Atero Coupe.
A total of 26 students from Skoda’s academy go designers, technicians, and engineers worked on the Atero, using the Skoda Rapid as the platform for their creation.
The predominantly black body of the Atero Coupe includes red trims scattered throughout, mostly see in the front section as a surround to the coupe’s front grille to go with touches on the bumper and front lip spoiler. The rear section features a coupe-SUV-like tail like that of the BMW X6. I doubt that the student interns intentionally tried to copy the X6’s rear end design, but the finished product does look more like a coupe-SUV — it’s a crossover! — than a traditional two-door. As an added touch, red neon-glow lighting was installed in the underbody, giving the Atero Coupe a splash of personality to go along with side dishes of swag. Unfortunately, that swag doesn’t extend to the Atero Coupe’s engine. Skoda’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine lives under the hood of the coupe, producing nothing more than 123 horsepower. It’s not exactly sports-car-like numbers, but the overall product is a solid example of the parts being greater than the sum.
2017 Skoda Element Concept
For the second time in four years, the Skoda CitiGo took center stage as 22 student’s from Skoda’s academy took up the task of transforming the compact city car into a one-off buggy.
The concept was called the Element, and it was powered b by all-electric powertrain.
Yes, who knew that the tiny CitiGo could morph into a cute little buggy that runs on electricity. Not a lot of people saw it coming in 2016, at least except the student interns who pored in 1,500 hours of work in order to breathe life into the concept. Like the CitiJet and Altero Coupe, the Element is a product of youthful and ambitious imaginations, a lot of whom were united in the goal of creating a new concept using the CitiGo’s platform. Adopting the profile of a buggy, the Element’s doors were ditched in favor of, well, nothing. The rear seats were taken out, too, as was the Citigo’s roof. The students did install a lid on the trunk and, more importantly, did the lion’s share of the work — with the help of professionals from Skoda, of course — in turning a car that otherwise would have had a 1.0-liter engine, not a rock-em and sock-em electric buggy. Skoda didn’t reveal how much power the Element has, but given its powertrain configuration, don’t be surprised if the Element actually produced more than 100 horsepower when it was given the concept treatment back in 2016.
2018 Skoda Sunroq Concept
There must be something in the water over there at the Skoda Vocational School for Mechanical Engineering that makes student interns so eager to wield saws in their hands and cut off the roofs of the projects its makes. This model is called the Skoda Sunroq, and it’s based on the Skoda Karoq. Or it was, until the team of 23 students that made it thought better to get rid of its roof entirely.
That’s one of the many changes that happened as the Karoq transformed into the Sunroq.
In addition to the roof getting butchered, the students also altered the SUV’s A-pillar and removed the rear doors completely. Not everything was removed, though. Apparently, the students also thought it would be cool to throw in an extra bump at the back. It looks like a rump grafted onto the rear section of the SUV to create what I can only imagine is a stylistic interpretation of a crossover mixed with a speedster and mixed with a sports buggy. The Sunroq’s interior looks far more subdued, though it was still treated with a white and red leather interior, complete with bucket seats and backlit alloys. Oh, and the Skoda badge on the hood of the Sunroq lights up, too. How’s that for fancy, right?
Read our in-depth review of the 2017 Skoda Kodiaq.
Read our review of the 2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS.