Skoda, a competitor for unbeatable value and style, says RAY MASSEY

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Have you heard the one on the Skoda? You might not have done it because the days when Skoda cars were the butt of jokes are long gone.

Indeed, this car manufacturer has experienced a remarkable renaissance. Last year the company celebrated its 125th anniversary – and what a century and a quarter it has been.

It has been 30 years since German giant Volkswagen Group took full control of the Czech brand after the fall of the Berlin Wall two years earlier in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

Powerful: The new Enyaq iV SUV is Skoda’s first fully electric vehicle and described by the company as “one of the most important new models ever introduced in the brand’s 126-year history”.

These early cars were aimed at the economy market, but over the past decade Skodas have gotten rather chic, with bold designs and sporty performance. Now, they’re considered a smart or nifty choice for people who want value for money, but also demand style.

Skoda has not shied away from using glamor to sell its products, as vintage shots reveal. Singer Paloma Faith appeared in Skoda’s 2018 campaign for the Karoq SUV with a cover of the 1969 song Make Your Own Kind Of Music. The following year, she took over Sammy Davis’ classic Jnr I Gotta Be Me for the range.

Leader of the peloton: The Skoda Enyaq iV leads the field in the Tour de France

Leader of the peloton: The Skoda Enyaq iV leads the field in the Tour de France

It’s been two decades since Skoda introduced its first rally-sport-inspired vRS performance model in the UK – the 2001 Octavia vRS Mk1 – followed shortly after by the cult model Fabia vRS Mk1.

A decade later, in 2011, a Skoda Octavia vRS officially became the world’s fastest 2.0-liter supercharged production car when the 600bhp “salt spec” race car hit 227mph to clinch the race car. ground speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the US

FARMS FAVORITES

Skoda now sells around 75,000 cars a year in the UK, with the Octavia being its most popular model, followed by the Fabia. The latest car for Skoda buyers is the fourth generation Fabia sedan (since 2000).

Order books are set to open for deliveries later this year with prices around £ 15,000 to £ 20,000.

Skoda’s current lineup in the UK also includes: the Scala sedan from £ 17,270 to £ 25,950, the Octavia sedan and station wagon from £ 22,245 and the Superb from £ 25,890 to £ 42,035. The 280bhp 2.0-liter Sport Line version of the Superb, priced at £ 34,740, is also the fastest-accelerating Skoda, covering 0-100km / h in five seconds.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda SUVs include the Kamiq (£ 18,755 to £ 26,985), Karoq (£ 23,675 to £ 35,660) and the restyled Kodiaq (from £ 27,650), of which the £ 44,635 sports vRS is the Most expensive car in the lineup, powered by a 2- A 245bhp gasoline engine that propels it from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds.

The new Enyaq iV SUV is Skoda’s first fully electric vehicle and described by the company as “one of the most important new models ever introduced in the brand’s 126-year history”. There are also plug-in hybrid versions of the Octavia and the Superb.

Many mourn the passing of the popular Skoda Yeti, but used parts are a popular purchase with families and fans who love its practicality and appearance.

HISTORY AWAITS

Skoda began in 1895, when two cycling enthusiasts – mechanic Václav Laurin and businessman Václav Klement – set up a bicycle repair shop before designing and manufacturing their own cycles under the Slavia name.

In 1905 they produced their first motor car – the Laurin & Klement Voiturette A at 25 mph – and by 1907 L&K was the largest automobile manufacturer in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

New Skoda Fabia 4th generation

But the defeat of Germany and its allies in World War I hit the company hard. Thus, L&K merged in 1925 with the giant Skoda Engineering Works in Pilsen, which was then the largest company in Czechoslovakia. Taking the name of Skoda, automobile production is relaunched outside of Prague. The 1930s saw the creation of several legendary vehicles, including the first affordable car for the Czechoslovak masses – the Skoda 420 Popular.

In 1938, however, the clouds of war were looming again. Hitler’s territorial ambitions in Eastern Europe meant that his eyes were on technical excellence and the armaments produced by Skoda.

After the wartime occupation by the Nazis, the Czechs and Slovaks had to endure their membership in the Soviet Empire from Russia.

But Skoda says: “Even under the difficult conditions of the planned socialist economy, a number of important models have been created in the last 40 years or so as a ‘state enterprise’.

In tune: singer-songwriter Paloma Faith has appeared in Skoda campaigns

In tune: singer-songwriter Paloma Faith has appeared in Skoda campaigns

These included the Skoda 1101 Tudor, the Skoda 440 Spartak and the Skoda Felicia Roadster. Another big milestone came in 1964 with the Skoda 1000 MB, the first Skoda with a freestanding body, rear-wheel drive and the first series-produced die-cast aluminum engine at the rear.

In 1987, the Skoda Favorit became the company’s new compact front-wheel drive car. After the nation’s rejection of communism, Skoda’s strongest partnership began in 1991 with the German group Volkswagen as the company’s history came full circle. This proved the manufacture of Skoda as its annual sales increased sixfold between 1991 and 2014.

Today, Skoda employs 43,000 people and is active in more than 100 markets, selling more than one million vehicles in 2020.

With three more pure-electric vehicles in the works, its goal is to be one of the five best-selling car brands in Europe by 2030. So who’s laughing now?

CZECH MAT WITH THESE LEGENDS

1905: Laurin & Klement Cart

A The company’s first car had only 7 horsepower and a top speed of 25 mph. This convertible two-seater offered the driver a little more protection from the elements than motorcycles, but it was a huge success.

1936: Skoda Popular Monte-Carlo

In the 1930s, the company returned to motorsport and the Monte-Carlo Rally. In January 1936, a special Popular roadster took second place in the under 1,500cc category. The first convertible version of the Popular Monte Carlo was delivered in July 1936.

Behind the times: over 57,000 rear-engined models of the Skoda 110 R have been produced

Behind the times: over 57,000 rear-engined models of the Skoda 110 R have been produced

1970: Skoda 110R

Over 57,000 rear engine models have been produced. The 110 R served as the basis for a range of sports specials and was quickly adopted by the motorsport fraternity. Its successor, the Å koda 130 RS, remains one of the most successful competition cars of all time.

1996: Skoda Octavia

The first Skoda developed from the ground up after the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the takeover by Volkswagen, the Octavia launched a renaissance in design and engineering. Since 1996, it has accounted for over 40 percent of Skoda’s sales, with five million built to date.

2020/1: Skoda Enyaq iV

The all-new fully electric Enyaq iV is Skoda’s first fully electric vehicle. The Enyaq iV 60 costs from £ 31,995 after the government subsidy of £ 2,500 for plug-in cars. Charging takes just 38 minutes on a fast charger and overnight on a home charger.

A ‘CLASSIC’ WEEKEND IN STORE FOR VINTAGE FANS

Classic cars are celebrated this weekend as campaigners say they are making progress in getting ministers to protect vintage engine heritage from controversial government plans to remove gasoline and diesel cars from the road.

Controversial: Campaigners say they are making progress on getting ministers to protect heritage of vintage engines

Controversial: Campaigners say they are making progress on getting ministers to protect heritage of vintage engines

The New Alliance of Historic and Classic Vehicles (HCVA) praised the “constructive approach” of DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard, who told MPs she would be “very happy” to explore closer engagement with the auto industry to solve long-standing problems. on registrations of classic vehicles.

The news came as the agency boss appeared before the House of Commons transport select committee to answer questions about a backlog of 1.4 million license applications, long labor disputes and problems of staff related to Covid.

  • Tomorrow, a tribute to vehicles that were once commonplace but are now a rarity on UK roads takes place at the seventh Hagerty’s of the Unexceptional festival (left) postponed at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. Already sold out, the event aims to “showcase the best examples of some of the most mundane cars ever built”. Organizers said: “It features well-maligned and long-forgotten classic cars and ‘regular’ utility vehicles from the late 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s.” (hagerty.co.uk).
  • Earlier this month, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean, Conservative MP for Redditch, sought to reassure classic car owners that it is “important to be clear that even as we phase out the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles, at this point we don’t “I have no intention of asking people to take existing or classic cars or older cars off the road.”

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