when crossovers turn into off-roaders
You’ll Never Be Able to Buy This Custom Off-Road Pickup Truck
The world’s love of off-road and overlanding rigs continues to grow, and the new crop of designers at the VW Group’s Skoda division seem happy to indulge our desire for beefy, built-out adventure machines. Every year for the last six years, the apprentices at Skoda’s vocational school have created a one-off concept car to show off their newfound skills; for 2019, they whipped up this orange monster called the Skoda Montiaq.
They began by reinforcing the body of a stock Kodiaq, a functional and friendly compact crossover. Next, the student designers chopped off the roof to allow room for a pickup truck bed, which in turn called for the fabrication of a rear panel for the cab as well as new rear and side windows. They shortened and widened the doors to fit its newfound beefyness. The stock bumpers also had to change, to reflect the aesthetic of these body modifications. Lastly, the students designed and integrated a fully-functional tailgate.
Don’t think the students just gave the truck a new look, though; they spent time adding performance features as well. They started by adding a 10 centimeter clearance boost versus the Kodiaq Scout, bringing the overall ground clearance to 29 cm. (if you don’t speak metric, that works out to 11.4 in.) To connect this lifted body to the trail, they mounted 17-in Rockstar II wheels and off-road tires. Power, though, stays stock; the Mountiaq concept is fitted with the regular Kodiaq 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four putting out a modest 187 horsepower.
The young men and women at the Skoda vocational school didn’t stop there. If there was an overlanding mantra, it’d have to be, “Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize” — and that they did. The snorkel air intake standing proudly ready for business up front is probably the first thing an onlooker might notice. Below that is mounted a custom-built brush guard housing a specially-designed winch for the worst off-road problems that come along. The addition of a full light bar and fog lights, as well as grill, engine bay and bed lighting, shows a playful mixture of practical and creative illumination choices. The student designers even added a refrigerator, a pair of walkie-talkies, and myriad special Montiaq logos throughout the truck; you can spot them stitched into the seats and featured on the 3D-printed wheel hub ornaments.
35 bright, hard working young people spent 2,000 hours over the course of eight months working on the project, which seems just about right, once you look at the detail and effort put into the Montiaq concept. Sadly, though, it is just a concept; this overlander is likely never going to be made. And even if it were going to be built, we here in the US can’t buy a Skoda anyways; the brand doesn’t sell any vehicles in this market. Hey, at least we have Jeep.