Skoda has unveiled a pickup concept designed by a team of 23 apprentices aged 17 to 18 at the Skoda Academy in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic.
Based on the Fabia hatchback the concept car follows on from the Skoda Citijet, a similar concept project designed by the Skoda Academy. It will make its public debut at the GTI Meeting in Worthersee this May but will not go in to production.
The pickup sits on the same 18in wheels as the Skoda Octavia RS and is powered by Skoda's 1.2 TSI 121bhp petrol engine paired with a seven-speed DSG. The students initially wanted to power the FUNstar with a 1.8 TSI petrol engine but it was deemed too large for the pickup.
The sporty themed interior features a sports steering wheel and seats, as well as an uprated 1400W sound system with a 200W subwoofer. The touchscreen infotainment system is compatible with all smartphones. A colour scheme of white and green was chosen to match the colours of the manufacturer, and the headlights of the Fabia were adapted to include green LED daytime running lights.
The Fabia concept has a frameless body with reinforcements on the side panels and a widened B-pillar to cope with its transformation from hatchback to pickup. The truck-bed floor is a stainless steel metal sheet.
Work on the concept car began in September 2014 when a total of 84 design proposals - which included an off-road version of the Fabia - were suggested. Once the pickup model was decided on, a competition was held for pupils at a local Primary school to come up with the name.
The Skoda Academy students involved in the design of the concept car are a selection of the best third-year pupils currently enrolled at the Skoda Academy. In total, 13 training courses are run at the academy and 880 students are enrolled.
Skoda has just invested 55 million Czech crowns (around £1.4m) in its training centre in Mlada Boleslav to help refurbish parts of the building, and has pledged to invest the same amount again this year.
Skoda said that last year's concept car was a big success and that if the FUNstar achieves similar success, another student-led project will be launched for next year.
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