And now for something completely different, the Czech automaker turned its attention to the North American National Hockey League. No, Skoda is sadly not coming to the United States. It’s actually the other way around as two NHL teams are currently in Europe for back-to-back matches to open the 2022-23 regular season. The San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will duel on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8 in Prague at the O2 Arena.
Skoda has long been a hockey supporter, having been an official partner of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship since 1992. For the NHL’s ninth visit to Europe, the Volkswagen Group brand has decided to dress its two SUVs as mascots. Based on Kodiaq, the four-wheeled mascot of the Nashville Predator is called the “Prediaq” while the “Sharyaq” for the San José Shark is the Enyaq iV. Yes, even the mascot follows the Skoda naming scheme with all SUVs ending in the letter “q.”
Vítězslav Pelc, the Skoda employee in charge of the team’s funky mascot explains why this vehicle was chosen. Mladá Boleslav-based Marque decided to use the two SUVs because they were similar in size and provided a contrast between the combustion engine and all-electric drive. Much like the Predator jersey, the Prediaq is mostly yellow while the Sharyaq is black and blue to echo the San José Shark.
In addition to eye-catching body stickers, the Kodiaq and Enyaq iV use a 3D-printed flexible ribbed composite structure. It consists of layered polyurethane foam in varying hardnesses so that the fins, tail, and mane can “naturally sway,” according to Plec. This was an unexpected move from Skoda and a fun way to promote the brand during a big event for NHL fans.
Skoda is no stranger to weird concepts as students from the company’s vocational school have built some interesting stuff over the years. From Kodiaq pickup trucks to Sunroq convertible SUVs, there have been some unconventional projects in recent times.