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10 Things You Might Not Know About Škoda

Established in 1925, Ŝkoda is a brand that has quietly but confidently carved its niche in the automotive industry. While most are familiar with the with the Czech automaker for its practical and reliable vehicles, Ŝkoda have put together a compilation of 10 lesser-known facts and answers to commonly posed questions, shedding light on the brand’s unique journey that make it a compelling choice for car enthusiasts worldwide.

1. Where did the name Škoda come from?

Skoda founders

The Škoda carmaker has a rich history that was set in motion by Václav Laurin and Václav Klement. These founders originally started manufacturing bicycles under the Laurin & Klement brand in 1895. They expanded into the world of motorcycles four years later, before presenting their first car in 1905. The car’s success led to the company’s conversion to a public limited company in 1907.

During World War I the company was involved in production for the war effort. When the war ended, the company expanded its product range to include lorries and aircraft engines. A key event in the history of the brand came in 1925 when it merged with the engineering giant Škoda, named after the industrialist Emil Škoda. Following this merger, the Laurin & Klement brand gradually began to disappear, replaced by the Škoda name and logo on the company’s new car models.

2. How do you pronounce Škoda correctly?

1. Š – This letter doesn’t exist in the English alphabet. It is a specific character from the Czech language (where the Škoda car brand originates). It is pronounced like “sh” in English, like in “shoe” or “shore”.

2. ko – This is pronounced similarly to the “co” in “cot”.

3. da – This is pronounced as “da” with a short “a” like in the word “cat”.

Putting it all together:

When pronounced correctly, “Škoda” should therefore sound like “SHKO–da”.

When saying the name, it’s essential to stress the first syllable (SHKO–) and say the second syllable (–da) more quickly. This gives the name its characteristic rhythm.

3. Does any Škoda car fit seven people?

skoda interior

Seven passengers can fit into a Kodiaq with its third row of seats. The seven-seater SUV is Škoda’s biggest car, but that doesn’t stop it being highly elegant on and off the road. Seats can be easily stowed, providing ample storage when required.

4. Which Škoda model has been produced in the largest number?

The Octavia has been Škoda’s most successful model in terms of vehicles produced and sold, with 7.2 million units produced over four generations (1996, 2004, 2012 and 2019) by the end of 2023 and production continuing. A modernised fourth-generation Octavia will arrive in early 2024.

5. Why does Škoda have close links to cycling?

One reason that Škoda is linked to cycling can be found in the company’s early history: it was founded in 1895 as a bicycle factory. Škoda is a partner of the Tour de France (the official main partner of the Tour since 2004), the Vuelta a España and several professional cycling teams. Since 2015, Škoda has also sponsored the green jersey for the Tour de France points classification leader and the Czech carmaker’s designers have fashioned a crystal trophy for the winner of the world’s biggest cycling race. On top of that, Škoda sponsors the WeLoveCycling initiative, which aims to motivate, support and inspire cyclists around the world through their shared passion. Social responsibility is another aspect of the initiative, so facilitating contact between cyclists and motorists is very important to the company.

6. Which Škoda is/was the fastest of all?

The fastest Škoda of all time was a specially modified Octavia. In 2011, on the salt flats of Bonneville, Utah, the British importer unveiled a souped up version of the Octavia with around 550 horsepower. This vehicle reached a speed of 325 km/h, making it the fastest car with the winged arrow logo in the Czech carmaker’s history. The team later added another 40 km/h to this record.

Based on the RS model, this extraordinary Octavia is even equipped with a braking parachute. Its engine is derived from the Octavia RS (2.0TFSI) but was modified with a new Garett turbocharger, an intercooler and other components. Thanks to these tweaks, it delivers between 550 and 600 hp and 450 Nm of torque. The fuel used is 120-octane petrol. The original goal was to reach a speed of 200 mph (322 km/h), but on the sixth attempt, the Octavia hit 325 km/h (202 mph). This wasn’t enough for the team, though, and on the next attempt they managed 365 km/h (227 mph), making the Octavia the fastest mass-produced car with a two-litre turbo engine and the Czech carmaker’s fastest car. Richard Meaden of Evo magazine was behind the wheel on both runs.

7. Has Škoda starred in a movie?

Diving into the archives of Škoda’s history reveals some truly unique creations. One such gem is the original Ferat, which took centre stage in the movie The Ferat Vampire. With its distinctive design and features, this vehicle showcased Škoda’s ability to craft cars that are not only functional but also cinematic icons. A Škoda car also has a big role in a European co-production science fiction/crime film set in 2041 called Restore Point. In the film, the main female character drives a fourth-generation Škoda Octavia in the RS version.

8. What electric cars does Škoda currently offer?

In New Zealand, Škoda has produced the electric all-electric SUV Enyaq iV and also offers plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which combine an electric motor with a conventional combustion engine to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. These include also the all-new Superb iV and the Octavia iV.

9. Who gave Laura her voice?

The voice of the digital assistant is artificially generated. Laura has the same voice whatever language she is speaking.

10. What is the most expensive Škoda currently available?

Skoda's most expensive car

That is the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 competition model, which costs around ten times the price of a regular Fabia. It’s an all-wheel drive car with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine delivering 291 horsepower and 430 newton metres of torque. The engine is based on the VW Group’s well-known 2.0 TSI engine and transfers power to both axles via a five-speed sequential gearbox. The Fabia RS Rally2 is available to race teams around the world.

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