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The new Skoda Scala marks the brand's continued evolution as it envisions a more distinct and extroverted future.

10 May 2019

Established in 1895 under the 'Laurin & Klement' name, Skoda Auto is one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world. And since it became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group in 2000, the Czech manufacturer has developed a reputation for delivering affordable, highly functional and amply practical cars that appeal to the masses.

The new Scala showcases Skoda's continuing transformation
However, while undoubtedly sharing some commonalities with other models from the VW Group, Skoda has always been able to differentiate its model offerings, with a focus on offering clever and surprising solutions. Its latest model, the Skoda Scala, charts the brand's continuing transformation as it looks to the future.

Always smart

Part of Skoda's brand strength is its ability to consistently offer ingenious solutions through clever packaging. Take the choice of developing the Scala on the MQB-A0 platform. Yes, Skoda could have simply used the MQB platform shared with other hatchbacks in the range, but using the MQB-A0 allows the brand to develop a more affordable product.

The long wheelbase allows the engineers to maximise rear legroom
That said, the engineers have pushed the boundaries of the platform, endowing the Scala with the longest wheelbase possible and emphasising the overall size and spaciousness of the vehicle.

Part of the brand strategy is in positioning Skoda products as 'between segment' models. As Pavel Jina, Spokesperson of Product Communications, Skoda, tells us, "At Skoda we are trying to always be in the middle of classes. That's the reason we took the MQB-A0 platform and stretched it out."

"This is to deliver the extraordinary space, luggage capacity and packaging that our customers demand. The most important thing for us is to offer the best package and value for money for customers," he adds. 

Ingenious storage solutions include an umbrella compartment in the front door
Additionally, the Scala also features various ingenious solutions you will also find on other models in the range, including an umbrella compartment in the front door, multiple cubbyholes for additional storage capacity, as well as a highly configurable cabin for maximum hauling capability. 

Simply surprising

However, beyond just clever packaging, Skoda also strives to deliver high-quality products that pack modern equipment and solutions. Part of this is of course taking the best of what's available from the VW Group as far as technology and equipment are concerned. In the Scala, you have a wealth of high-tech equipment offerings.

The MQB-A0 platform application allows the Scala to be fitted with a wide range of safety systems
Additionally, because the Scala is built on the MQB-A0 platform, it is able to incorporate safety and assistance systems found in larger segment cars. The full range available includes Lane Assist, Front Assist, Side Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Park Assist.

More importantly, it is the design of the new Scala that will be most noticeably echoed in future models. Skoda calls it a more 'emotive design language', though 'emotive' is admittedly a highly subjective word.

What you will find in the Scala, though, is a clear effort towards a more distinctive and exuberant exterior design. I'm particularly taken by the way the Scala has an estate-like presence, thanks to its sharp lines, stretched out proportions and long wheelbase. Plus, the character line of the bonnet and front grille is echoed on the redesigned dashboard, highlighting the overall cohesiveness of the car's design.

The character line of the front grille and bonnet is echoed on the redesigned interior dashboard
Overall, there is a clarity and definition to the Scala's design that stands it apart from what you imagine a 'typical' hatchback to look like. Part of this is an effort to further distinguish Skoda models from the rest of the VW Group - specifically to amplify and accentuate the specific character of Skoda models.

As Mr. Jina tells us, "It's not just taking the systems, platform and wheelbase and reusing it. There is significant development on the platform so that is individually set up to provide the specific solutions that we want to offer customers."

The Scala highlights a move towards a more dyanmic and emotional design language
Charting ahead

So what does the Scala mean for the brand? Well, quite a lot, according to the Skoda representatives that I spoke to. 

It's convenient to think of Skoda cars as a mix-and-match of VW Group parts and components (and in some ways they certainly are), but the brand's product strategy moving forward extends beyond just that. 

The focus is on delivering products that are cohesive in executing the brand's strategy of offering customers a balance of affordability, practicality and usability, while also creating a distinct and personal aesthetic.

It's clear that Skoda is looking to create a more distinctive and personal range of models that nonetheless still deliver ample practicality, usability and affordability
It's evident that the brand is looking to further differentiate its products from the rest of the VW Group. With the Scala, Skoda is highlighting the way its future products will adopt a more distinct design language that will look to move past the expectation of 'generic-looking' people carriers.

At this point, it strikes me that Skoda is consciously looking to meld the old and new as it pursues a more extroverted vision of the brand's place within the Group, as well as in the larger automotive industry. And as day transforms into night and the stars begin to twinkle in the sky, it's perhaps fitting that the beauty of Croatia is reflected in the way old and new come together to create an environment that is unique and distinct in its own particular way.
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skoda  skoda scala  scala  skoda future  skoda croatia