Skoda mightn't be a favorite among the tuning community, but that hasn't stopped a team of students within the company from turning the Rapid Spaceback into the Atero, a coupe to make Fast & Furious fanboys weak at the knees.
Unlike the overwhelmingly sensible Spaceback, the Atero throws subtlety to the wind. The rear doors have been lopped off to make room for a swooping coupe roofline, a change which involved a complete rework of the B and C pillars. To make sure you can still access the back, the Atero has longer front doors fitted.
The shape is nice, although it's ruined slightly by the over-the-top detailing and paintjob.
In isolation, there's nothing really wrong with the red rear spoiler, diffuser, bonnet venting and front-bumper highlights. But when you learn there's only a 1.4-liter, 92 kW (123 hp) engine under the hood, the whole thing starts to look like it's trying way too hard.
Also filed under the "trying too hard" heading is the LED underbody lighting and headlamps, which could have come straight from a JC Whitney catalog. The icing on this boy-racer cake of a car is the 1,800 watt, 14 speaker audio system squeezed into the boot, complete with LED lighting.
Jokes aside, it is impressive to see the wholesale sheetmetal and chassis changes a team of 26 students has managed to make since the end of 2015. We just wished it was finished with a dose of old-fashioned subtlety.
The Atero is the latest car to come from Skoda students, following in the footsteps of last year's Funstar pickup.