Although the Skoda Rapid is no longer in production, Skoda surprised us with a one-of-a-kind convertible version of the Rapid. This unique Skoda Rapid Convertible was designed and developed as the first-ever student car project from Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited. A group of selected students from the Group Academy’s Dual Vocational Training in Mechatronics program is behind this project.
The open-top Skoda Rapid Convertible has several modifications compared to the stock version, including a retractable Skoda badge on the bonnet, an LED lip light at the front, and yellow accents on the front bumper, door panels, and brake callipers. The cabin of this project features seat-mounted seatbelts, as there are no B-pillars in this car. The team also reworked the cabin, giving it a sporty-looking scarlet-red upholstery and a touchscreen infotainment system. Skoda has not mentioned any changes to the engine under the hood. However, it is expected that the stock engine and gearbox are retained, with only exterior and interior alterations carried out.
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Piyush Arora, Managing Director and CEO of Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited said,
“We are excited to introduce the Student Car project to India, providing vocational school pupils with a unique opportunity to design and create their dream car by rebuilding one of the cars from the Škoda portfolio while adding innovative ideas. This initiative reflects our commitment to nurturing talent and promoting innovation in the Indian automotive industry. Such initiatives also create an opportunity for the realisation of futuristic ideas by building prototypes with out-of-box thinking without the fear of failure. We are confident that this project will not only give students practical experience but also equip them with new skills and insights into various departments at Škoda Auto Volkswagen India. By stimulating the youth’s creativity and providing them with practical skills, this project will further support the Skill India initiative implemented by the Indian Government.”
Sarma Chillara, Group Head of HR and Administration Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited said,
“As the automotive industry continues to evolve, Škoda Auto Volkswagen India firmly believes that grooming the next generation of skilled professionals to adapt to this dynamic landscape is imperative. With a focus on practical learning and skill-building, our mechatronics program is tailored to empower students with the tools and expertise needed to thrive in the fast-paced automotive industry. It brings us great pleasure to witness our students collaborating on such a prestigious project.”
This car is one of the projects falling under the brand’s Azubi Student Car project, which is currently in its ninth edition. However, the Rapid convertible is the first car from Skoda’s Indian arm. With this project, the Indian Academy intends to make the Student Car Program a regular part of the syllabus for students. To make it more competitive, the student selection criteria will be improved, and the program will involve one cycle of projects every year.
Since 2011, the Academy’s Dual Vocational Training in Mechatronics program has been contributing to enhancing the skills of 10th-grade school students. Adopted from Germany, this program includes a full-time 3.5-year course, which allows the students to focus on developing their talent and expertise.
Piyush Arora, Managing Director and CEO of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited, expressed his thoughts on this development of the first project car. He said that this initiative shows how the company is committed to nurturing talent and promoting innovation in India’s automotive industry.