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Skoda Azubicar Afriq: Kamiq becomes a rally car

No, this is not Skoda's new factory rally car, but this year's trainee car. The brave SUV Kamiq now appears as an aggressive racing car called Afriq.

At Skoda, it is already a tradition for trainees to put a concept vehicle on wheels as part of their apprenticeship. Until recently, 25 young car manufacturers were working on the eighth trainee car since 2014. They received support from the Skoda Motorsport department in this project, which was extended to last a good one and a half years due to the corona pandemic, because the selected basic vehicle Kamiq was to be turned into a real one become a rally car. And that's what the Škoda motorsport enthusiasts are particularly familiar with.

The design of the Skoda Afriq - the name of the trainee car 2022 - was inspired by the current Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo rally car, which also directly donated its tailgate and roof spoiler. Basically painted in white, the concept study has stickers in the typical Skoda motorsport colors of green and black. By welding the two rear doors, the apprentices turned the small SUV into a two-door. Other visual rally bonds are the wider fenders, wheel arches and bumpers, the ventilation flap in the roof, the quick-release fasteners on the bonnet and tailgate and, of course, the additional headlights above the radiator grille.

Longer body, greater ground clearance

At 4.36 meters, the Afriq is almost twelve centimeters longer than the standard Kamiq. Its ground clearance is between 154 and 186 millimeters depending on the model version; the Afriq is 190 millimeters. The fact that there is more air between the body and the ground is not only due to the 16-inch rims from the Dotz shelf, which are covered with coarse-tread off-road tires in 215/65 R16 format. But also due to the comprehensive modifications to the chassis: the front axle is now mounted differently, a multi-link axle does its job at the rear and the suspension is reinforced all round.

With the modifications, the trainees didn't just want to achieve a more robust appearance. Many of these were technically necessary because the Kamiq, which is normally always front-wheel drive, received the all-wheel drive train from the Škoda Octavia 4x4. And with it its two-liter four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 190 hp and a maximum of 320 Newton meters of torque. For comparison: the top engine in the production car is a 1.5-liter TSI, which brings it to 150 hp and a maximum of 250 Newton meters.

Extensive conversion work

Since the Octavia engine is larger and heavier than any drive source available for the standard Kamiq and also has a seven-speed DSG, the Afriq has adapted engine and transmission mounts. The larger Skoda even donates part of its rear area and its two-part tank so that the drive components can be accommodated in the rally concept car. The cardan shaft was shortened and the exhaust system was also redirected.It ends in a tube that protrudes from the center of the rear apron. The unladen weight of 1,350 kilograms is comparable to the mass of the base car, despite the heavier drive components.

Inside, the Skoda Afriq radiates the typical racing car atmosphere. No wonder: bucket seats, six-point safety belts, steering wheel and dashboard come directly from the Fabia Rally2 Evo. The trainees, on the other hand, specially adapted the roll cage and the fire extinguishing system to the Afriq body. A navigation system suitable for rallies as well as two cameras and microphones, with which the spectacular drives can be recorded, are also on board. Just like a water generator from the Israeli company Watergen, which extracts drinking water from the ambient air so that the rally crew always has enough liquid.

More of a Dakar than a WRC car

By the way, the name is no coincidence: it refers to the fact that Skoda is now responsible for activities in the North Africa region within the VW Group. This also means that the trainees designed the Afriq, which required a good 2,000 hours of work to build, less as a WRC car and more as a Dakar rally car.

Conclusion

For the eighth time, junior staff have been able to design a concept car at Skoda. 25 trainees formed a rally car from a Kamiq. This bears the name Afriq and has been extensively rebuilt in terms of body, drive, chassis and interior.

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