You might think letting a bunch of 17 to 18-year-olds design a car would be a very bad idea, but a group of talented apprentices have proven otherwise.
23 young minds were tasked with creating and building a car concept as part of the Skoda Academy in September 2014. Seven months of work gave birth to the Skoda FUNstar ─ a small pick-up truck based on the talented Fabia hatchback that is actually drivable.
The FUNstar is designed to embody the Skoda identity, but in a way that stands out from current production cars. It is, in fact, most akin to the Felicia Fun pick-up, which the older folk among us may remember from the 1990s.
Supposedly the teens rightfully wanted to chuck in a 177bhp 1.8-litre borrowed from the much larger Octavia, but it was too big to under the bonnet. So a 1.2 TSI petrol capable of 121bhp mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission was used instead.
A few other parts of the FUNstar have been borrowed from various Skodas, including 18-inch alloys from the Octavia vRS (19-inchers were too big for the arches) and the rear end of the Fabia.
It also has green neon lights under the steel grey and moon white car for a touch of Fast & Furious styling, as well as LED headlights, 1.400-watt sound system that can connect to a smartphone and a new exhaust system to improve the engine noise.
Showgoers to VW’s Worthersee tuning festival in Austria in mid-May will be able to see the concept, which will sadly not reach production. It was only an exercise for the Skoda Akademie vocational school.
The ‘FUNstar’ name of the concept was actually picked by primary school kids as part of a Facebook competition.
The Felicia Fun first arrived in 1998, with only 300 right-hand drive cars made, making it as rare as it is was recognisable. An extremely bright yellow paintjob ensured it stood out from the crowd.