Volkswagen’s Czech Republic-based Škoda division has introduced an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind concept that pays a discreet homage to its past. Dubbed Atero, the design study was developed and built by the carmaker’s apprentices.
The Atero started life as a regular-production Rapid Spaceback, a four-door hatchback sold largely in Europe that’s roughly the same size as a Volkswagen Golf. 26 young apprentices moved the C-pillar back by a couple of inches, welded in the rear doors, and gave the coupe a fast-sloping roof line that’s accented by a red spoiler. The sleek new silhouette is reminiscent of the rear-engined coupes built by Škoda from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
The Rapid’s front end has been modified with new headlights, a more muscular-looking bumper that features large air dams and red inserts, and illuminated vents cut into the hood. 18-inch alloy wheels borrowed from the bigger Octavia RS add a finishing touch to the sporty look. Interior photos aren’t available, but Škoda tells us that the coupe features red ambient lighting and an 1,800-watt sound system that plays through no less than 14 speakers. All told, the Atero took Škoda’s apprentices 1,700 hours to design and build.
Beneath the sheet metal, the Atero is standard Rapid fare. Power is provided by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that sends about 125 horsepower to the front wheels via a dual-clutch automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles. The drivetrain is borrowed from the Volkswagen parts bin, but performance specifications haven’t been announced.
Sorry, Škoda fans, but the Atero is a one-off model designed to show what the company’s apprentices are capable of, and it won’t join the rest of the lineup as a regular-production model any time soon. In fact, Škoda hasn’t dabbled in the coupe segment in decades, and executives have shown absolutely no interest in building another two-door model for the foreseeable future.