A Skoda ute? Wild Czech car-maker unveils funky Mountiaq concept
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Wind the clock back a few decades and the idea of a brand like Mercedes-Benz or Volkswagen making a ute would've been met with ridicule. However, they represent the reality in 2019, with the Amarok in particular becoming a well established product in the crowded double-cab space.
The question is whether more brands will hop onto the bandwagon. And, if this tangerine creation is any indication, maybe the Czech (cough, German) brand Skoda could be considering it.
What you're looking at is the Skoda Mountiaq, a concept ute whipped up by the brand's network of apprentices. This is the latest in a string of student-developed concepts that Skoda have issued, as part of their programme to nurture future motoring talent.
In total, 35 students from the marque's Vocational School worked on the Mountiaq under the guidance of experts from design, technical development, and production department backgrounds. What began as a theoretical process last September was being put into production (of sorts) by this January.
What started as a Kodiaq (Skoda's award-winning SUV), has undergone significant plastic surgery. It's 302mm longer, 123mm wider, and 34mm taller than the Kodiaq with a 3mm shorter wheel-base. Power comes from the same 140kW 2-litre TSI four-cylinder engine as the Kodiaq.
Dimensional changes are underlined by a raft of equipment upgrades. There's a sport bar on overlooking the snubbed bed and a nudge bar up front, both fashioned in matte black. Nestled underneath the nudge bar is a winch, which is complemented by a snorkel and roof-mounted light bar.
The go-anywhere do-anything aesthetic Skoda were chasing is further supported by a raised 290mm of ground clearance (100mm more than the tallest Kodiaq), and 17in Rockstart II wheels wrapped in all-terrain Falken Wildpeak rubber.
The red and tailgate are lined with diamond plate surfacing, with multi-purpose storage underneath. Inside, meanwhile, there's bespoke orange highlights on a black leather background, plus a Columbus sound system. an integrated fridge for some reason, and a glowing Skoda logo on the ceiling (a known call-to-action for millennials, apparently).
Is this a precursor to a Skoda ute in the future? To be honest, probably not. But, it's great fun to look at. And, outside of the brand's rallying history, can probably lay claim to being the most badass Skoda ever made.