Skoda Karoq Velo Concept
Carmakers rarely think about the comfort and requirements of cyclists, since they are obviously not their prime demographic. However, that does not mean that cyclists don't buy cars, or that they wouldn't appreciate a carmaker going out of their way to address their needs. Thankfully for them, there is one carmaker that actually took time to sit down and talk with 1500 active cyclists, to see what problems they faced and how they could be solved. By now many of you might be wondering who this manufacturer could be and why would they waste their time on such a niche endeavour. Well, the manufacturer is Skoda, and the reason for addressing cyclists specifically is that Skoda started its life as a cycle brand which later branched out into automobile manufacturing. In fact, they are quite proud of their heritage and have been sponsoring the Tour De France for the past 15 years.
To address these two areas of interest in one go, Skoda has developed a one-off Karoq Velo concept, that transforms the family SUV into the a cyclists perfect dream. The car was developed by the input of hardcore cycle enthusiasts and boasts a number of unique features specific to the sport.
The first thing you will notice is the look of the car, which features a special cycle chain design. The roof rack has been improved to fit two full size bikes, with space for one more inside. The interiors also get a fully decked repair tool kit that can be used for both the car and the bikes. Specially fitted LED lights provide enough light to carry out repairs even at night.
But what really makes this car different from any other car on the market, is the presence of a company fitted washing machine in the boot. This was a much needed feature for over a quarter of the people surveyed, as they didn't appreciate sitting in their car with damp and stinky clothes. The machine is integrated into the existing pressure wash system of the car and can have your clothes fresh and clean by the time you reach your destination.
In a way, it is the ultimate support vehicle for cyclists who want all the amenities buy don't wish to carry them on their bikes just in case they may need it. This is even more true for cyclists who like to document their journey and have to carry even more equipment, including but not limited to drones, lenses, mounts, batteries and other things. For those people, the car comes with a Follow Me drone that follows the cyclists and captures their journey in pictures and videos that can be instantly uploaded using an in-built Wi-Fi hotspot. It even has its own magnetic landing pad for ease of use. Have you seen any other car that can do that?
Me neither. Which is why it is so sad that this is just a one-off concept car and not a production ready model. You don't even get the option to buy the kit and fit it in an existing Karoq. In the end, it is yet another reminder of what cars can accomplish, yet is still out of our reach.