Skoda has revealed a two-door coupé with a boot, called the Atero. It has been designed by a team of Skoda students who have invested 1700 hours in the car, which started life as a five-door Skoda Rapid Spaceback.
Neither this car nor any other coupé is on Skoda’s development agenda – "it’s too niche", said a spokesman – but the Atero name has been copyrighted. It’s a derivation of the Latin word for black, and potentially could reappear on a production model.The car itself is the result of an in-house competition for Skoda students, now in its third year, that invites them to dream up a variation on an existing model and pitch it to management. The winners get the chance to build it for real; the Atero was picked from a field of more than 90 entries.
It’s been realised by a team of 26, none of whom had met each other before, explains student Daniel Voce. Despite this apparent impediment, they have produced a fully functioning car that, among other things, has substantially altered bodywork from the standard Rapid.
The car was part-inspired by the 1984-90 rear-engined Rapid coupé, but owes little to the earlier car beyond a fastback silhouette. The Atero is unusually proportioned because it sits on the wheelbase of a roomy five-door hatchback; the removal of two doors, the rearward shifting of the B pillars and the remodelling of most of the Rapid’s rear end requiring "a lot of welding" says Scehofer, with some understatement.
Even more welding was needed to turn the Rapid’s tailgate sub-assembly into a precisely fitting bootlid, although "the hardest part", he says, was "the bodywork where the roof pillar meets the rear wing," the slender D pillars cradling a particularly large rear window. This was "the only part made by the Skoda prototype shop," says Scehofer; the remainder of the car was remodelled by the students.