As enthusiastic ‘velocipedists’ and patriots, at the end of 1895, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement decided to turn their passion into a career and to produce bicycles under the brand name ‘Slavia’. The new brand rapidly became synonymous with quality and innovation made in Czechia — and the various bike models convinced more and more customers.
From 1899, motorcycles became the second pillar of the young company L&K. The flourishing bicycle production was extended with one, two and four-cylinder motorcycles of their own design. The L&K machines had rearwheel drive. Alongside passenger motorcycles, there were also goods tricycles. The motorcycles from Mladá Boleslav were highly sought after, not only in their Bohemian homeland, but abroad as well.
Spurred by their rapid rise, in1905, L&K presented the company’sfirst automobile: the two-seater Voiturette Type A. The vehicle impressed with its good price (3,600 crowns) as well as its high level of practicality and robustness. The two-cylinder V engine with 7 PS performance and a capacity of 1,005 cm3 accelerated the automobile, weighing just about 600 kg, to a top speed of 40 km/h. The three-speed gearbox and the modern carburetor of their own design ensured a high level of efficiency and excellent climbing capability in the mountains.
The last L&K model was also the first ŠKODA. In 1925, L&K merged with the engineering company ŠKODA from Pilsen in western Bohemia. The popular four-cylinder Type 110 had both companies’ logos on its radiator.
As few as around 50 units of the ŠKODA 860 luxury car were made from 1929 to 1933. The number 860 stood for the number of cylinders and for the performance of the engine respectively. The 8 identified the water-cooled in-line eight-cylinder engine. The number 60 represented the performance of 60 PS. This majestic vehicle was 5,424 millimetres long.
As the big brother of the ŠKODA Popular, the ŠKODA Rapid was one of the best medium-class vehicles in Europe at the time. It went some way to proving its qualities on the record journey ‘Around the world in 97 days’ and at the Monte Carlo rally, but particularly through the loyal service to thousands of customers. At that time ŠKODA became the largest automotive manufacturer in what was then Czechoslovakia.
The Popular sported a new chasis and an independent suspension, which was an advanced solution for its time. The success at the Monte Carlo Rally inspired the company to manufacture a commercial version using the same design as the racing car.
The six-cylinder flagship Superb added to the ŠKODA four-cylinder models Popular, Rapid and Favorit. From 1939, the Superb was even available with a fourlitre V8 engine. As it does today, in the 1930s and 1940s the name ŠKODA Superb stood for the highest level of comfort, a great deal of space, top quality and unbeatable reliability.
This racing car with a cgar-shaped body was once the fastes Czechoslovak car, reaching speeds of up to 197.7km/hr.
It’s all in the name: the convertible ŠKODA Felicia put a happy smile on many people’s faces and boosted the reputation of the brand. With its elegant design and the distinctive tail fins, the open vehicle was one of the most entrancing ŠKODA representatives of the 1960s. The Felicia developed into a real export hit — including sales in the USA. Today, the Felicia is considered amongst the most treasured classics of the ŠKODA brand.
The ŠKODA Octavia premiered in 1959. The name Octavia was derived from the Latin word octo (eight) and branded as the eighth model of the production line, which had begun with the Popular 420 in 1934. The Octavia convinced with top quality, lots of space and — thanks to the all-wheel independent suspension and coil springs on the front axle — increased comfort. Along with the saloon version, from 1960 there was also a ŠKODA Octavia Estate on offer. A total of around 285,000 vehicles were sold of both versions, including a significant share abroad.
A completely new plant, a radically new vehicle structure, plus, at that time, the most state-of-the-art engine in its class — the ŠKODA 1000 MB was a revolution for ŠKODA in 1964 and was the first ŠKODA with a rear engine and selfsupporting body. The spacious four-door was, in its day, considered one of the best vehicles in the one-litre class and set standards in terms of comfort, performance and technology. Around 443,000 units were produced from 1964 to 1969, more than half of which were exported.
The groundbreaking vehicle was one of the most successful rally circuit cars of all time, with numerous victories to its credit including a ‘doublet’ in Monte-Carlo in 1977. With a 1.3-litre, 4 cylinder and 135hp engine, the 130 RS could be accelerated t a maximum speed of 220 km/hr.
The brand made a real statement in 1987 with the introduction of the ŠKODA Favorit — a modern compact car concept with a front engine, front-wheel drive, variable passenger compartment and large tailgate. Parts of the development took place in cooperation with renowned foreign companies such as Porsche and Bertone. The hatchback was soon followed by an estate and a commercial vehicle version. The production concept of the Favorit set standards in terms of economic efficiency, an aspect that, after the political changes of 1989/90, was of particular interest to foreign manufacturers.
Small car, big success: in 1999, ŠKODA introduced the new ŠKODA Fabia. After the hatchback, just one year later the estate version of the small car was to follow. The second-generation Fabia celebrated its debut in 2007. Around 3 million plus Fabias of the first and second generation have been sold to date. In autumn 2014, the manufacturer presented the completely redeveloped third generation Fabia as a hatchback and estate. The vehicle inspires with a clearly sharpened design, less weight, reduced consumption and technical innovations from higher vehicle classes.
The ŠKODA Yeti was amongst the most popular Sport Utility Vehicles (compact SUV) and has won the hearts of customers since its launch in 2009. Since the start of 2014, the ŠKODA Yeti has been available in two variants for the first time: as an elegantly styled ŠKODA Yeti for the city and as a ŠKODA Yeti Outdoor ready for off-road and adventure. ŠKODA will end production of the both Yeti and Yeti Outdoor in January of 2018.
The ŠKODA Rapid has complemented the ŠKODA model range between the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Octavia since 2012. With compact dimensions. As the first compact hatchback model of the brand, the Rapid Spaceback has been inspiring young people and families, in particular, with its young, attractive design and spacious interior.
Since 2001, the ŠKODA Superb has been the flagship of the ŠKODA brand. The model stands for quality from the Czech Republic on global markets and offers lots of space, innovative technology, top safety and a high level of comfort. In 2008, the second Superb generation was launched onto the markets. With the New ŠKODA Superb launching in early 2016, the flagship of the brand transports us to a new era, with a new language of dynamic design, clear lines and refines forms. Beyond its appearance offers great functionality: with the largest boot, a premium range of security information and entertainment and a variety of powerful engine: there is no doubt that the Superb truly lives up to its name.
With a length of 4.70 m, up to seven seats and the largest boot within its class, the ŠKODA KODIAQ is the Czech car manufacturer’s first large SUV. From early 2017, ŠKODA’s latest model has presented itself with all of the brand’s strengths: a design that is full of character, extraordinary interior space, practical intelligence and innovative technology that can otherwise only be found in higher vehicle classes. The ŠKODA KODIAQ marks the beginning of ŠKODA’s extensive SUV campaign.
History is more than the mere passing of time. It’s a collection of stories that remain timeless. To celebrate exciting history of ŠKODA, we created a timeline not of events, but of emotions. And there are no better stewards of ŠKODA’s legacy than the people who drive our cars.