Every year, Skoda gives members of its trainee program the freedom to create a unique concept. The results have been impressive in the past few years, with students creating funky compact pickups and fastback city cars, but the latest trainee team has used the sea and sand as inspiration, turning the Citigo into an electric beach buggy called the Element.
Although it's based on the Skoda Citigo – which itself is based on the Volkswagen up! – the Element has a completely unique look. Given the team of 22 students poured about 1,500 hours into its development, that's probably not entirely surprising. Gone are the doors and windows, and there isn't any sun (or rain) protection in the form of a roof, either. This is a proper outdoorsy buggy, designed to put its two passengers out in the weather.
Power comes from an electric motor making 60 kW (80 hp). Skoda hasn't released details about predicted range, but the VW e-up! makes exactly the same amount of power and has a claimed range of 180 km (112 mi) from its 18.7-kWh battery pack. So if it were to hit the road as a production car, the Element would likely manage similar numbers.
"Electromobility is not just a temporary trend – it is the future," says student Daniel Launa. "That's why we have opted to build a car with an electric drive system."
The Element joins a growing line of student-built cars from the VW Group. Along with the Skoda Funstar and Atero, trainees over at Volkswagen have fettled the Golf GTI and R at Worthersee in the past as well. Check out the gallery for a look at the last few Skoda concepts.