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SKODAS ON THE FRONTLINE AROUND THE WORLD


Text | Idris Talib
Photos | Manufacturer, Moses Tng

19 August 2020


Known for their versatility and practicality, Skoda cars have proven to be the perfect vehicles to provide assistance to those in need.
What makes a good vehicle to assist those in need? Is it space, performance, or its capabilities in various road conditions?

Such a vehicle must be able to adapt to changing environments quickly and effectively. At the same time, it has to be quick - be it serving the needs for cyclists in a race, or responding to life-threatening situations in emergencies.

Skoda vehicles are the perfect combination. Known for their high level of practicality and versatility, they offer the best when it comes to the needs and wants of emergency services around the world.

It is no surprise then, that Skodas have been spotted serving in emergency departments, to notable racing events around the world such as the Dakar Rally, and the Tour de France cycling race.
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A long history of service
Skodas aren't new to the game when it comes to offering emergency vehicles, with a history that spans over 110 years.

Laurin & Klement is a nameplate we recognise for top-of-the-line Skodas today. Back then, it was an automobile manufacturer, making coach built cars that were designed for ambulance use.

What they came up with in 1906 was the C1 military ambulance. It had the ability to carry four patients. It proved to be effective transporting wounded soldiers during the war.

In the following years, the versatility and practicality of Skodas stood out. In the 1960s, Vehicles like the Skoda 1203 were not just used for ambulances, but as commercial vans too.
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The versatile ambulance
The good qualities that a Skoda offers work hand in hand with the operational needs emergency vehicles require.

That point stays true today. It is no wonder that fast medical response teams around the world choose to use Skoda vehicles.

Skoda's versatile SUV, the Kodiaq, fully represents this when used as an ambulance. Outfitted for medical use, it is decked out in equipment ranging from defibrillators, to even a backup electricity source.

It even supports an air ambulance service in the U.K. The fast Kodiaq VRS covers ground in areas helicopters can't reach, transporting important medical personnel and equipment quickly and safely - with enough room to spare.
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Hard police work
It isn't just about responding to medical emergencies. Police departments need vehicles that are dependable, with enough pace to respond to incidents, yet with space to deal with protective equipment such as bulletproof vests, shields and warning lamps.

You can easily see why Skodas work just as well here. Usually, extensive modifications are required to fit communications equipment, for example. But in the case of the Kodiaq, it fits perfectly in the centre compartment.

Thanks to the sturdy nature of Skoda vehicles, not many alterations are required either, despite the added weight of police equipment.

Combined with excellent on-road performance and enough off-road abilities, it means police officers can attend to the toughest of situations quickly and effectively, every day.
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Going undercover
One of our favourite highlights of Skodas are that they're inconspicuous, yet practical. Skoda has made the perfect cars for unmarked police vehicles, too.

Skoda vehicles have found use in highway patrol units in the U.K., with the RS245 taking centre stage.

With 241bhp on tap along with an unassuming exterior, it is almost guaranteed that the RS will be a dependable vehicle for highway patrol officers, be it responding quickly to an incident, or when in pursuit.

Skoda even has a bulletproof version of the Superb. Almost indistinguishable from your regular Superb, it is built from high-strength steel with bullet-resistant glass.
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Serving two wheelers today
Today, Skoda isn't just supporting emergency services with its versatile range of vehicles. Many sporting events require support vehicles. And perhaps one of the most physically demanding events are cycling tours, where Skoda vehicles are a common spot.

We've seen how difficult it can get. During the Bike 'n' Blade charity cycling event last year, Skodas again proved their worth.

Supporting over a 100 cyclists riding up Cameron Highlands, the Skodas used were able to carry medical supplies, bicycle spares and even refreshments for the cyclists, as they conquered over 1,400m in elevation changes.

It is no surprise then, that Skoda has been the main partner of the Tour de France race for sixteen years in a row.

Come this August, the Tour de France will be back, with over 150 riders covering over 3,000km. And you'll be sure to spot a Skoda, always there for those who ride.