Skoda is a Czech automaker that comes under the Volkswagen umbrella. It is also one that we know and hear very little of, as Skoda doesn’t sell any cars in the US. But they have a rich racing background and some pretty cool and robust cars in their portfolio. Skoda also recently showcased their first-ever EV called the Enyaq, the RS version of which happens to be the most powerful Skoda yet.
But amidst all this hustle, we stumbled upon a student project car made by the apprentices of Skoda Academy. They took a rather boring Skoda Kamiq and made it into a fierce rally car. And it is not a superficial do-over.
They swapped the powertrain for an interesting one, jacked up the suspension, gave it racecar-derived interior and exterior elements, and added in a drinking water generator! Skoda Afriq is the eighth car to come out of this cool apprentice program. The prior ones were all road cars with the last one being a convertible based on the Skoda Slavia. And from this lot, it is the Skoda Afriq that has intrigued us the most!
The Afriq is a bland Skoda Kamiq that decided to go rogue and hit hard on those dunes.
Skoda Afriq Is A Project Car Made By 25 Students
Skoda Afriq is the latest creation under the Student Concept Car Project that was introduced by Skoda in 2013. Built by a team of 25 creative apprentices, the main aim of this project was to take any existing Skoda car and modify it with a purpose in mind , which in turn will give the students hands-on experience.
And this time, the purpose was hardcore off-roading. The team took a no-nonsense sub-compact Skoda Kamiq that possessed nothing in the name of “excitement” and made it into a Dakar-ready super-weapon. This makeover took four months and 2,000 work hours.
The Humble Skoda Kamiq Gets Jacked Up To Take A Beating
The most evident upgrade is its suspension system. The Afriq gets a multi-link rear suspension with more enduring dampers and springs. While the details are brim on the additional travel and ride height, it sure looks to have the capabilities to tackle any terrain. Complementing its browny appeal are chunky 15-inch all-terrain tires.
Skoda Afriq Rally Car Uses The Sporty Octavia’s Powertrain
While the concept still flaunts the Skoda Kamiq’s shell, the powertrain has been notably upgraded. The Afriq swaps the Kamiq’s boring (1.0-Liter or 1.5-Liter) + FWD layout for a more athletic one from the Skoda Octavia vRS. The new 2.0-Liter turbocharged TSI petrol engine churns out 188 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG gearbox. A full race spec sequential box have been too much of a budget strech for the student project we assume.
This powertrain coupled with the Afriq’s 2,976-pound curb weight is ample to blow up some dust. And the team wanted this engine’s character to be vocal as well, which is why the exhaust system was custom-made with a single-exit mid-mounted (possibly straight-piped) setup.
The Quirk: Making Water Out Of Thin Air
Keeping sustainability in mind, the team teamed up with Watergen, an Israeli company known for making water from the air. They helped this student team by developing a drinking water generator that is secured in what once used to be the cargo space. This device extracts drinkable water from the humidified air in a four-step process. It starts with a fan sucking in the air which passes through a built-in air filter to remove dust.
Then it passes through a heat exchanger where the air gets condensed to water. Next up, the water passes through a cascade filter along with a UV application to make it purer and destroy harmful microorganisms and chemicals. After this, the clean water is stored in a container that constantly circulates and is exposed to UV light to clear off any remaining harmful elements. This will come in handy during those scorching days at, let’s say, the Dakar Rally!
Skoda Afriq Is Designed For The Wild Rallying World Inside-Out
The four-door Skoda Kamiq has been converted into a two-door rally machine. The team welded away the rear doors which also got reinforced with a roll cage to further stiffen the MQB-based platform. Upfront, the Kamiq’s split LED headlamp unit has been retained and so is the grille. But it has been made “rally-ready” with a front splitter and heavy-duty LED lights on the hood.
This SUV also gets wider front and rear fenders to accommodate those chunky tires which are wrapped around cool-looking 16-inch Dotz 4X4 wheels. The white-green Skoda livery has been taken off the Fabia Rally2 Evo racecar. At the rear, the Afriq flaunts a large carbon fiber wing which adds to its sporty character.
It also gets a roof scoop, possibly acting as the inlet for the clever drinking water generator. On the inside, the Afriq is equally serious on the “rally-spec” layout. The cozy stock layout of the Skoda Kamiq has been replaced with an aggressive motorsport layout.
The dashboard, bucket seats, six-point harness, and steering wheel are also taken off Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. The rear seat delete and welded doors help in the installation of a full roll cage. The Afriq also has a fire extinguishing system for added safety. The team also added a navigation system by Garmin. Adding to a more modern recording experience are two micro-phone-enabled cameras to record every bit of the action!
This Student Project Needs To Become A Reality
There have been several prior projects under Skoda’s student program, but none had us excited like the Skoda Afriq. This concept goes beyond just style and focuses on a whole new direction. Skoda has been taking part in the Dakar Rally and its weapon of choice has been a tricked-out Kodiaq. We believe that it’s time for them to take the Skoda Afriq right in, for the next rally installment!
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