Skoda AFRIQ: spectacular rally version of the KAMIQ!

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Skoda AFRIQ Rally Version KAMIQ 2022 Tuning 18

Since the 2013/14 apprenticeship year, the ŠKODA trainee car from the ŠKODA vocational school has been the highlight of the training for the project participants. With the support of their teachers and experts from all areas of ŠKODA AUTO, they design and build their personal dream car. With the ŠKODA AFRIQ, 25 trainees have now put the eighth ŠKODA trainee car on wheels. The spectacular rally version of the ŠKODA KAMIQ crossover model evokes associations with the legendary Dakar Rally at first glance. The name AFRIQ further underscores this impression: it refers to the fact that ŠKODA AUTO has been responsible for the Group's activities in the North Africa region since January 1, 2021.

the Skoda AFRIQ

As a flagship project at the ŠKODA vocational school in Mladá Boleslav, the ŠKODA trainee car has been demonstrating the high standard of training at ŠKODA AUTO in every training year since 2013/14. The trainees are supported by teachers and experts from all areas of the company in the planning, construction and production of their dream car and transform a ŠKODA production model into a spectacular concept vehicle. In this way, the project participants can deepen what they have learned, apply their skills in practice and further improve them, and work in a team. At the same time, they get to know various processes in the company. In addition to specialists from the development department, from ŠKODA Design and from Production, this year experts from ŠKODA Motorsport also provided more extensive support for the eighth student car than ever before since the project began.

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Inspiration for the start of the project came from Volkswagen, first forerunners in the 1970s
The idea for implementing the trainee car project came from a similar training program at Volkswagen. At ŠKODA AUTO, the forerunners of today’s student cars were created as early as the 1970s: in addition to a few small tractors and a ŠKODA 120 pickup, ŠKODA vocational students produced four examples of the ŠKODA BUGGY Type 1975 in 736. It followed on from the autocross racing cars that ended In the 1960s, with the racing format of the same name, it found its way into the European motorsport scene and thus into what was then Czechoslovakia. One of these buggies is now in the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav after extensive restoration by trainees from the ŠKODA vocational school in 2017.

Designed for one school year

Most of the project participants are working on the trainee car in their third year of training. However, due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ŠKODA AFRIQ was built during the past two school years. Under the guidance of their teachers and ŠKODA experts, the vocational students took on all the process steps themselves – drawing the first drafts as well as constructing the vehicle and assembling the one-off.

From the CITIJET to the SLAVIA – the first seven ŠKODA student cars

Škoda Slavia Spider From Scala 1

The first ŠKODA trainee car was the CITIJET in 2014, a two-seater version of the ŠKODA CITIGO. The FUNSTAR pickup based on the ŠKODA FABIA followed a year later. In 2016, the trainees presented the ATERO, a coupé based on the ŠKODA RAPID SPACEBACK. In 2017, the vocational students designed the electrically powered ELEMENT, the second trainee car based on the ŠKODA CITIGO. The fifth trainee car in 2018 was the SUNROQ convertible study, which was based on the ŠKODA KAROQ SUV. In 2019, the students transformed a ŠKODA KODIAQ into the impressive one Pickup MOUNTIAQ, before 2020 based on the ŠKODA SCALA the Spider SLAVIA originated. On the occasion of ŠKODA's 125th anniversary, the model designation commemorated the first bicycles that Václav Laurin and Václav Klement produced after the company was founded in 1895.

Skoda Mountiaq 2019 Trainee Concept Car As Pickup 10

ŠKODA AFRIQ: Apprentice Car No. 8 is ready for the rally track

  • Rally version of the ŠKODA KAMIQ is reminiscent of the Dakar Rally
  • The model designation refers to ŠKODA AUTO's responsibility for the Group's activities in North Africa
  • Close cooperation with ŠKODA Motorsport

Three, two, one - go! The ŠKODA AFRIQ could start immediately on a special stage of the legendary Dakar Rally. The eighth ŠKODA student car is a spectacular rally version of the ŠKODA KAMIQ. The crossover model is thus serving as the basis for a trainee car for the first time. The experts from ŠKODA Motorsport were more involved in the creation of the ŠKODA AFRIQ than with any other trainee car. The project of the 25 trainees, including three women, pays homage to the roots and the original home of the 'Dakar' and at the same time refers to ŠKODA AUTO's responsibility for the Volkswagen Group's activities in North Africa.

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Maren Gräf, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for People & Culture, emphasizes: “This year’s trainee car, the ŠKODA AFRIQ, is the impressive result of the enormous creativity and great talent of our future employees. At the ŠKODA AUTO vocational school, they are optimally prepared for their career at ŠKODA AUTO and during their practice-oriented training they have the opportunity early on to put what they have learned into practice and deepen it. I particularly like the high degree of innovation of our trainees, which also clearly focuses on sustainability. I am convinced that with these dedicated junior staff, we are in an excellent position to shape the future of our company together and successfully implement our transformation.”

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Since January 1, 2021, ŠKODA AUTO has been responsible within the Volkswagen Group for all Group activities in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria and is opening up new markets with growth potential in the region. As part of the corporate strategy 'NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030', ŠKODA AUTO is striving under the slogan 'EXPLORE' to become the leading European automobile manufacturer in the growth markets of India and North Africa by 2030. The ŠKODA AFRIQ trainee car draws additional attention to this responsibility for the North African region.

Difficult conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic

25 trainees from the ŠKODA AUTO vocational school, including three women, started work on the eighth trainee car project in autumn 2020 and quickly decided on an all-wheel drive rally version of the ŠKODA KAMIQ crossover model. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary protective measures, the vocational students could initially only meet online, so the planning and design phase for the trainee car was extended by three months until April 2021. For this reason, the completion date for the vehicle was pushed back from June 2021 to May 2022 and the entire project was extended from one school year to the two school years 2020/21 and 2021/22. ŠKODA fans therefore had to wait a year longer for the Spider's successor, the ŠKODA SLAVIA.

2.000 working hours to build the ŠKODA AFRIQ

The construction of the ŠKODA AFRIQ took four months, and the trainees invested a total of around 2.000 working hours. The body of the basic model KAMIQ was extensively modified: the rear doors were welded and the fenders, wheel arches and bumpers of the two-door AFRIQ were enlarged. The suspension has also been strengthened. The extensive adjustments for the implementation of the all-wheel drive from a ŠKODA OCTAVIA 4×4 were also very time-consuming. As in previous years, the structural bodywork adjustments were very extensive. The students had to putty the body, trimming all the edges of the vehicle and filling all the joints to form the body perfectly.

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Most extensive cooperation with ŠKODA Motorsport in the history of the trainee car project

In addition to numerous engineers and employees from the areas of technical development, design and production, the experts from the motorsport department also supported the trainees. Due to the design of the ŠKODA AFRIQ as a rally vehicle, ŠKODA Motorsport was more involved in the development of the model than ever before in the history of the ŠKODA student car project. The experts from ŠKODA Motorsport imparted their technical knowledge to the trainees and supported them with equipment. For example, they provided the auxiliary headlights, ventilation and tailgate with integrated spoiler from the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo and quick-release fasteners for the bonnet. There are numerous features from the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo on board, such as two cameras with microphones, the steering wheel, dashboard, six-point seat belts and special racing seats.

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Design: borrowed from the FABIA Rally2 evo and eye-catching wheels

  • White paintwork with motorsport stickers designed by the students together with ŠKODA Design
  • 15-inch wheels from rally specialist OZ Racing and a vehicle weight of just 1.350 kilograms
  • Reduced interior equipment, roll cage and innovative drinking water generator

The ŠKODA AFRIQ confidently flaunts its rally genes. Numerous optical details of the one-off are based on the design of the currently most successful racing car in the world, the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. The eighth trainee car has 15-inch wheels from rally specialist OZ Racing. Another eye-catcher is the white paintwork with colored motorsport-style stickers, which were created in cooperation between the vocational students and ŠKODA Design. In the interior, the scope of equipment, which has been consistently reduced to the essentials, is unmistakably reminiscent of ŠKODA's motorsport models. The highlights on board include two cameras and an innovative drinking water generator from the Israeli company Watergen.

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Based on the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, the eighth trainee car exudes pure motorsport flair at first glance: like the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, the ŠKODA AFRIQ is also painted white and has colored stickers in classic racing style. The trainees designed these stickers in cooperation with ŠKODA Design. The 15-inch wheels from OZ Racing also underline the sporty appearance.

From four to two-door

Unlike the original KAMIQ, the ŠKODA AFRIQ is a two-door model. In order to stiffen the body, the trainees welded the two rear doors and connected them directly to the roll cage specially designed for the trainee car. As with the FABIA Rally2 evo, a ventilation flap is integrated in the roof, and the rear spoiler on the roof comes from the successful WRC2 racer from Mladá Boleslav. The additional headlights at the front and special quick-release fasteners on the bonnet and tailgate provide further parallels to the rally FABIA. The ŠKODA AFRIQ is 4.362 millimeters long, 1.870 millimeters wide and 1.570 millimeters high. It has a wheelbase of 2.649 millimeters and a ground clearance of 190 millimeters.

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Bucket seats, seat belts and steering wheel from the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo

The trainees were assisted by the experts from ŠKODA Motorsport with the equipment. The racing bucket seats, the six-point seat belts, the steering wheel and the dashboard come directly from the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. As is typical of a rally, the AFRIQ also has a specially adapted roll cage and a fire extinguishing system located behind the passenger seat. The outlet nozzles for the extinguishing agent are distributed throughout the interior.

Navigation system, cameras and a water generator

Other special details on board include a rally-compatible navigation system. Two cameras, which also have microphones and store the recorded driving scenes on memory cards, are also installed for recording particularly spectacular journeys. One camera is located between the two seats near the roof, the second is mounted on the left A-pillar above the dashboard. A highlight is the innovative water generator from the Israeli company Watergen, which extracts drinking water from the ambient air.

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This means that drinking water is always available in the ŠKODA AFRIQ, similar to a water dispenser - fresh, filtered, mineralized, healthy and completely independent of the vehicle's surroundings. The ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab and the company's own InnoPOC program for testing innovative technologies supported the integration of the technology into the vehicle. ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab Israel scouted and tested the technology together with the Inno team and then made recommendations for possible use. This is how the successful cooperation with the ŠKODA Academy came about.

Drive: Power to all four wheels for traction on any surface

  • The engine, all-wheel drive train and 7-speed DSG come from a ŠKODA OCTAVIA 4×4
  • 2,0 TSI four-cylinder develops 140 kW (190 PS) (OCTAVIA 2,0 TSI DSG 4×4: fuel consumption combined 6,2 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 143 – 142 g/km) and 320 Nm maximum torque

With the AFRIQ, the vocational students combined technical components from the ŠKODA KAMIQ base vehicle, a ŠKODA OCTAVIA and the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo rally model. The body comes from the KAMIQ and the rally FABIA contributes components, especially in the interior. The drive train from a ŠKODA OCTAVIA 4×4 provides the necessary power for the eighth trainee car. A 7-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) distributes the power of 140 kW (190 hp) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm to all four wheels. The ŠKODA AFRIQ is therefore ideally equipped for off-road use.

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Traditionally, the participants in the trainee car project also use technical components from other ŠKODA vehicles when constructing their dream car and adapt them accordingly. In the case of the ŠKODA AFRIQ, this primarily affects the drive train: the engine and transmission come from a ŠKODA OCTAVIA 4×4. The 2,0 TSI four-cylinder develops 140 kW (190 hp) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm. A 7-speed DSG distributes the power to all four wheels. The exhaust system was adapted to the new engine and the modified underbody.

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In order to implement the powertrain of a ŠKODA OCTAVIA 4×4, extensive changes to the underbody were necessary. The brackets for the front axle and the mounting of the engine and transmission have been modified since the OCTAVIA's engine is larger than that of the KAMIQ. A new multi-link rear axle was also installed. In order to provide the necessary axle mounts, a part from the rear of the OCTAVIA body was integrated into the body of the KAMIQ. To fit the cardan shaft, the technicians from the ŠKODA Academy used the two-part tank from the OCTAVIA and had to modify the tank opening and filler neck. The cardan shaft was shortened for use in the KAMIQ. The gearbox and the exhaust have also been modified to save space. The newly designed tailpipes of the exhaust system are an eye-catcher at the rear. The interior of the AFRIQ has been greatly reduced and is geared towards the requirements of rally drivers. This makes a significant contribution to the low vehicle weight of just 1.350 kilograms.

Watergen: fresh and filtered water on board – anytime, anywhere

  • Israeli company produces drinking water from humidity
  • Patented process works like a particularly efficient air conditioning system
  • UV light kills viruses and bacteria and breaks down chemicals

A drinking water generator from Watergen is used in the ŠKODA AFRIQ. The innovative company from Israel has developed from a local technology company into one of the world's leading providers of atmospheric drinking water treatment systems. With its patented process, Watergen extracts drinking water from the moisture in the ambient air and can thus generate drinking water even in the desert.

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With the drinking water generator from Watergen, the trainees at the ŠKODA vocational school, under the supervision of experts, ensure a very special detail in the ŠKODA AFRIQ: the racing vehicle for the desert rally can provide its drivers with clean and mineralized drinking water at any time. By using it in the AFRIQ, ŠKODA AUTO draws attention to this process, which can also help to reduce water shortages in desert regions such as North Africa. The reduced need for water bottles also reduces plastic waste and thus the carbon footprint.

Water production in four steps

The extraction of drinking water from air humidity is one of the most important and innovative methods of water extraction. Watergen is a pioneer in this field and has patented its technology. The company, founded in 2009, holds a total of 42 patents and sells its products in more than 85 countries worldwide. Watergen also works with governments and NGOs to reduce water scarcity in many regions of the world. The process of extracting water from the air takes place in four steps: First, a blower sucks in the air. An integrated filter removes dust and dirt. The cleaned air is routed through the GENius heat exchanger, where it condenses into water. The water obtained in this way then runs through a cascade filter for further purification and mineralization. During this process, UV light destroys microorganisms and breaks down harmful chemicals. The water is then stored in a reservoir where it is continuously circulated. Here, too, UV light kills remaining viruses and bacteria.

Installation in the ŠKODA AFRIQ

The Watergen portfolio includes various products for industrial and domestic use, as well as versions with an internal water tank for use in vehicles. A tailor-made solution is used in the ŠKODA AFRIQ using existing components. The tank is located on the left side on the tailgate in the same box as the water filtration, mineralization and UV purification. The cup holder, the spout and a control display are connected and attached to the dashboard. The water flows into the cup until the water supply is stopped at the push of a button. In addition to the current fill level of the water tank, the display also shows the air temperature and humidity. The main unit with the blower, the air filter, the GENius heat exchanger, the condenser and the compressor is located behind the two seats in the rear of the AFRIQ. There the air is sucked in, cooled and condensed into water. The system is fully integrated into the vehicle and can produce up to 20 liters of drinking water per day, depending on external conditions such as air temperature and humidity. Watergen's largest stationary systems produce up to 6.000 liters of water per day.

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Photo credit: Škoda
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