Škoda Auto Volkswagen India (SAVWIPL), which manages the Indian region of five Volkswagen Group brands – Škoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Lamborghini, has announced its first-ever student car project in India.
Selected students from the Group Academy's Dual Vocational Training in Mechatronics program have created a unique cabriolet version of the Škoda Rapid sedan. This project offers students a hands-on experience in the automotive industry, allowing them to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting.
Piyush Arora, Managing Director and CEO of Škoda Auto Volkswagen India, said, "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."
The mechatronics students undertook a unique car project and converted a Škoda Rapid into a cabriolet. Converting a standard, hard-top car into roofless beauty was not an easy job, but the students were determined and ensured to complete the project on time and with an immaculate finish.
Among the various customisations, the one that really draws attention is the retractable Škoda badge on the bonnet. The ‘winged arrow’ hood ornament elevates elegantly from the bonnet and retracts back in at a touch of a button. They also added sleek LED lip lighting to the front bonnet to enhance the sporty appearance. In addition, the project car also gets an illuminated ‘Skoda’ inscription on the boot-lid to give it a distinct appearance. There are several other sporty bits like the fully-loaded black accessories package with a yellow catch radium flow character line and yellow-painted brake calipers.
To give the cabin a more premium feel the students upgraded the standard radio to a more modern, tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system. But more importantly, they had to integrate the seatbelt into the front seat since the cabriolet doesn’t have a B-pillar where the belts are originally mounted. The seats themselves are beautifully crafted in top-quality scarlet-red leather. And to ensure an exhilarating experience, the factory-fitted exhaust was replaced by a sporty exhaust system that can induce goosebumps at a blip of the throttle.
Sarma Chillara, Group Head of HR and Administration at Škoda Auto Volkswagen India, said, “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.”
Though this is the first Student Car Project by Škoda Auto Volkswagen India, internationally, the Škoda Academy's Azubi Student Car Project is now in its ninth iteration. This full-time 3.5-year course, adopted from Germany, focuses on developing school-leavers' talents to take up critical roles.
SAVWIPL Academy is taking steps to regularize the Student Car Program and include it as a project in the students' syllabus. The program will involve one cycle of projects every year, and the student selection criteria will be improved to make it more competitive.