Skoda designer reimagines 1203 camper van for modern age
4 February 2021 - autocar
Rendering raises potential of reborn Skoda camper that could be based on Volkswagen ID Buzz EV
Skoda has presented the idea of a revival of its 1203 camper van from one of its designers as part of its Icons Get a Makeover project.
The modern-day version of the 1203 – a popular commercial vehicle produced for a variety of purposes for nearly 30 years – was designed by Daniel Hájek. The Czech designer's day job is a user interface designer for Skoda cars
Hájek's vision, rendered to concept sketch standard, is of a new 1203 camper van with a pop-up roof and based on the current Volkswagen Transporter platform, rather than a retro revival.
However, he also says it could be electric for "even better use of space". This presents the possibility of a model based off the MEB electric vehicle platform, which is set to be used in Volkswagen's revival of the Microbus in the 2022 ID Buzz.
"I wanted it to be clear from my study that this is the same vehicle, but I didn't want it to be too obviously retro," said Hájek. "I designed a modern vehicle that pays homage to the legend. I wanted it to be timeless."
The 31-year-old chose the 1203 because his grandparents have long had one in their garden, and he had his first experiences behind the wheel driving it around his family's farm when he was 15.
Although the reborn 1203 is merely a design study and there is no indication as yet that Skoda will look to put it into production, Hájek admits that it was designed to be viable as such.
"I talked about it with my colleagues, and they said that if I have experience with the 1203, I could try to reimagine it for the new millennium", Hájek said. "But I also think a vehicle like this would be great for the Skoda brand today."