Lesser-known models from SKODA AUTO’s 125-year history: The SKODA SAGITTA
The various engine concepts that engineer Zubatý tried out at the time show just how consistently ŠKODA was challenging the tried and tested and thinking outside the box to develop new vehicles – even though the Czech car manufacturer had gained a great deal of experience with water-cooled in-line four-cylinder four-stroke engines since 1906. Nevertheless, in January 1933 an air-cooled V2 four-stroke engine with 750 to 800cc displacement, which had an output of around 12 kW (16 hp), was developed as an alternative. Its rear wheels were driven by a 500cc two-stroke single-cylinder rear engine. This finally led to the prototype 215 with an 804cc 11 kW (15 hp) in-line two-cylinder engine.
However, for the new production model, the 420 STANDARD introduced in 1933, the quiet, economical and reliable four-stroke four-cylinder engine once again prevailed. From April 1934, the ŠKODA 420 POPULAR with a 995cc 16 kW (22 hp) four-cylinder engine was added to the range. Although the production of these engines cost around 650 crowns more, ŠKODA was able to offer the new vehicle concept at a price rivalling its competitors’ two-cylinder models. Even though significantly higher quality materials were used, the price of the 418 POPULAR fell from 29,800 to 18,800 crowns compared to the previous corresponding model – the four-seater ŠKODA 420 STANDARD – thanks to efficient assembly line production.
At ŠKODA, plans for a smaller, more economical vehicle began to take shape that would soon trigger a boom in car ownership. In the ŠKODA POPULAR and SAGITTA it offered the driver and passenger more legroom and lowered the vehicle’s centre of gravity.
Apr 09, 2020 at 22:06