The Skoda student concept car has been the highlight of the apprentices’ training at the Skoda Vocational School since the 2013/14 academic year. With the support of their tutors and experts from all departments, they design and build their very own dream car.
29 apprentices have now completed the ninth student concept car, the Skoda Roadiaq; a multifunctional mobile-office camper that captures the spirit of adventure. Designed to operate seamlessly as a car in motion, then transitioning to a useable office or living space when parked, the Roadiaq is a sustainable, battery-electric all-wheel-drive vehicle that digital nomads can use for travel, work and leisure.
Skoda’s ninth student car contains everything a modern mobile office needs: a permanent high speed internet connection, a 27‑inch monitor and a docking station, innovative storage solutions, lots of electric plug sockets, and (importantly) an espresso machine. Yet, in just a few easy steps the Roadiaq transforms from a workspace into a living area complete with a bed and a small kitchen.
Perfect vehicle for contemporary explorers
The 29 apprentices from the Skoda Vocational School started working on the Skoda Roadiaq in autumn 2022. Over the course of nine months, they spent over 2,000 working hours creating a multifunctional camping and mobile-office vehicle that digital nomads can use to work, travel, or simply relax.
This is the first time a Skoda student car is based on the all battery-electric Skoda Enyaq SUV. With numerous exterior and interior modifications, the vehicle lends itself as much to working on the go as to camping and outdoor activities.
Comprehensive support from numerous departments
During the development and production of the Roadiaq, the students received support from numerous Skoda experts working in the Production, Design and Technical Development departments. For the first time, the IT Services department and the Sustainable Materials Development department were also involved. The student team also received support from external camper conversion specialists.
During the apprentices’ visit to Skoda Design, Oliver Stefani and his team were particularly impressed by the designs of Agáta Fraňková, a painter in the second year of her apprenticeship, and offered her an additional internship in the Design department. This was the first such internship since the inception of the Student Car project.
Extensive adaptations outside and inside
To transform the Enyaq into a camper van, the apprentices significantly adapted its body. In addition to a new roof structure, they developed a new tailgate that allows a tent to be attached. The Roadiaq is fitted with 21-inch Supernova alloy wheels from the Enyaq range and has a two-tone Emerald Green and Moon White paint finish. Inside, the textiles used for the seat covers, door trims and instrument panel are made from 100% recycled materials. The furniture for camping, sleeping and remote work in the rear of the vehicle was custom-made after expert consultation, with design input from the students.
All-wheel drive with two electric motors
The Skoda Roadiaq comes with all-wheel drive and is based on an Enyaq 80x Sportline. A synchronous electric motor is mounted on the rear axle, delivering an output of 150 kW and a maximum torque of 310 Nm. The asynchronous electric motor on the front axle delivers another 80 kW and a maximum torque of 162 Nm to the front wheels. The lithium-ion high-voltage battery has an energy capacity of 82 kWh (77 kWh net) and enables a range of up to 495 kilometres on the WLTP cycle.
New roof design and new tailgate for plenty of space
The base vehicle’s length of 4,649 millimetres and width of 1,879 millimetres have remained unchanged. The wheelbase has grown minimally, to 2,770 millimetres, and the ground clearance to 190 millimetres. At 2,050 millimetres the Roadiaq is more than 35 centimetres taller than the standard version, mainly due to the new roof section. A part of the original roof had to be removed in order to provide significantly more headroom. Thus digital nomads can enjoy even more space for working and relaxing. A tent attachment provides shelter in bad weather and enables more comfortable use of the kitchen installed in the rear of the vehicle. The reworked rear left door, with its handle removed, offers more privacy in the sleeping area thanks to its window featuring that features a sun blind. Additionally, solar cells help generate energy for the living compartment, ensuring the vehicle maintains range while off grid. The Roadiaq can also be connected to an external power supply at campsites or motorhome parks.
Multifunctional interior with fabrics made from sustainable materials
Extensive modifications to the entire interior behind the front seats have created a space that can be used for work and also converts to a one-person bedroom in a few simple steps. The interior mirrors the Roadiaq’s exterior colours and uses fabrics made from 100% recycled materials. The complete upholstery for the seats, door trims, instrument panel and roof pillars was produced in collaboration with the external upholstery experts from Autointerier Sindelář, a company that has cooperated with the Student Car project for many years. The fabrics made from recycled textiles come from the specialists at Dual Borgstena, who already work with Skoda on series production projects. The mono-material concept ensures complete recyclability of the fabric at the end of the vehicle’s lifecycle. Cushion covers and a blanket were made using a special 3D knit technology, a waste-free process that uses recycled material for the covers.
Support from camper van conversion experts
The project traditionally benefits from close cooperation between specialists from all Skoda departments. Yet, when fitting the vehicle with the custom-made roof structure and furniture, the apprentices also called upon external experts for help. The companies Cargodesign and KPS Automobile were brought in to advise the students and actively assisted with the construction of both exterior and interior fittings. In addition to the camping and office equipment in the rear of the vehicle, the apprentices also created a passenger-seat workstation. A special arm offers the passenger a place to attach their tablet. The interior is rounded off by numerous equipment features and accessories for entertainment and relaxation, some of which are already part of Skoda’s range. They include a wireless speaker, a solar-powered shower, an espresso machine with a 12 V connection, kitchen appliances, chairs, tables, plates, pots and pans, cups and glasses, USB and charging cables, carpets and trims as well as torches and a survival kit for the adventurous travellers.
Innovative technology highlights: power supply, solar cells and a 27-inch monitor
The apprentices have equipped the Skoda Roadiaq with some innovative technology highlights. Working closely with Skoda’s IT department, they ensured it has everything it needs to function as a mobile office for today’s digital nomads. In addition to the permanent internet connection, this includes a built-in 27-inch monitor with integrated docking station and camera as well as a wireless keyboard, mouse and speaker in the vehicle’s living and office area. To this end, the apprentices also adapted the entire electrical system and created additional light sources and sockets.
Looking back: eight Student Cars in Mladá Boleslav and the first in Pune
Prior to this year’s effort, apprentices at the Skoda Vocational School planned, developed and built eight student cars. It all began with the open-top Citijet based on the Skoda Citigo in 2014. This was followed by the original and playful Funstar pickup based on the Skoda Fabia and the Atero, an emotional coupé version of the Rapid Spaceback. In 2017, the Element, the first electric student car, preceded the later production model Citigoe iV by two years. In 2018, the Sunroq SUV convertible was created based on the Skoda Karoq, while the striking Mountiaq pickup concept was derived from the large Skoda Kodiaq SUV.
In 2020, the open top Slavia Spider, based on the Skoda Scala, added an emotional appeal to the student car line-up. In 2022, the apprentices returned from the COVID break with the Afriq – a Kamiq city SUV turned into a 4×4 rally car, marking the project’s first collaboration with Skoda Motorsport.
Inspired by Mladá Boleslav tradition, 2023 also saw the first Skoda student car created in India. In May, apprentices on the 3.5-year Mechatronics course at the academy operated by Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) in Pune presented their personal dream car: a four-door convertible version of the Skoda Rapid sedan.
A tradition of first-class education at the Skoda Vocational School
The Vocational School is part of the Skoda Academy, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in April of this year. The highly regarded Skoda Vocational School is steeped in nearly 100 years of tradition. Skoda founded this training school at its headquarters in Mladá Boleslav back in 1927, and it has been a private Skoda Auto facility since 1991. Having started with 58 students in its first year, it has seen more than 24,000 graduates pass through its doors to date. By the 2022/23 school year, enrolment had grown to around 820 students. The Skoda Vocational School offers three-year and four-year training courses: the three-year courses end with a final examination and a Certificate of Apprenticeship, the four-year courses with a high-school diploma. Many graduates then continue their education in post-secondary studies or at university, or they join Skoda directly.
15 training courses on offer
A total of 15 technical training courses are currently available, 12 in the form of full-time studies and 3 in the form of follow-up daily studies. The main focus is on mechanical and electrical engineering, with a special emphasis on future-oriented technologies. At present, the most popular courses are those leading to qualification as an e‑Car Mechanic or IT Mechatronic. The curriculum is constantly updated in cooperation with various departments to optimally meet the needs of the apprentices and the company. A case in point is the new Car Electrician – e-Car Mechanic course added for the 2021/2022 school year.
Investment in the Skoda Academy
With the support of the KOVO trade union, the company has invested more than 440 million Czech crowns (around 18.5 million euros) in modernising training and technical equipment at the Skoda Academy since 2013. The next phase of rebuilds has already started, including the workshops where the student cars take shape.
“Current developments in the automotive industry and especially the topic of electromobility offer great possibilities. In order to fully exploit these, we provide our young talents with state-of-the-art facilities from the very start of their careers. We are currently extensively refurbishing the teaching areas and workshops that our pupils and company’s employees will use in the coming years. The upgraded facilities will be a great asset for the future competences of our workforce and, of course, an excellent base for upcoming student car projects,” said Martin Slabihoudek, Head of Skoda Vocational School.