114 years of ŠKODA competence in the development and manufacture of engines. New engine test center in ?esana strengthens the technological competence of the brand. Every day, 3,600 ŠKODA employees build up to 4,400 petrol engines. Today, ŠKODA built the eleven-millionth engine in its corporate history – a 1.4 TSI motor of the model series EA211. Engines have been built in Mladá Boleslav since the year 1899 – first for motorcycles and, from 1905 on, for automobiles. At the current time, the assembly lines at ŠKODA’s main plant are producing modern 1.2l and 1.4l versions of the engine model series EA211 and EA111. About 3,600 employees manufacture up to 4,400 units every day. The Czech automobile manufacturer will continue to expand its knowledge in the development and manufacture of engines.
“Among engine developers and manufacturers in the automobile industry, ŠKODA has one of the richest track records,” says ŠKODA’s Chairman of the Board, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “The number of eleven million manufactured assemblies since 1899 is representative for 114 years of Czech engineering in the development and manufacture of engines. We will continue to strengthen this know-how within the framework of the ŠKODA Growth Strategy,” Vahland continues.
The anniversary engine is a 1.4 TSI engine of the EA211 model series. Since the end of 2012, the Czech manufacturer has been building modern 1.2 and 1.4 TSI versions of this model series, which is used by the Volkswagen Group. The modern petrol engines with direct injection are intended for models by the ŠKODA, Audi, Seat and VW brands. “The production of engines of the EA211 model series strengthens our manufacturing basis in the Czech Republic and underscores the important role of the ŠKODA production within the Volkswagen Group,” says Michael Oeljeklaus, the ŠKODA board member for Production and Logistics. The TSI four-valve four-cylinders are setting new standards in energy efficiency, lightweight construction and engine power. Furthermore, the Czechs are currently building engines of the EA111 model series.
The manufacturer wants to continue to expand its engine competence within the framework of the ŠKODA Growth Strategy. This endeavor is supported, among other things, through the construction of a new power-train center at the ŠKODA Development Center in ?esana, near the company’s seat in Mladá Boleslav. The car maker will invest more than 34 million EUR in this measure – the largest investment currently being undertaken in the area of development in the Czech Republic. At its core, the new center will include more than 15 engine test stations with outputs ranging from 250 to 400 kW. In view of the increasing requirements concerning the global use of engines, it will facilitate the worldwide development of engines for the most diverse markets.
The manufacture of engines at the Czech car maker began in the year 1899 – four years after the foundation of their bicycle-producing company – when company founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement first equipped a bicycle with an auxiliary engine, the so-called “Motocyclette”. The two-wheeled vehicle could be equipped with one-cylinder engines with outputs of either 1.25 hp or 1.75 hp. The vehicle achieved a top speed of more than 50 km/h. That marked the birth of the manufacture of automotive engines at the headquarters of the company in Mladá Boleslav.
The beginning of the motorization laid the foundation stone for one of the most venerable companies in the world. In 1905, Laurin and Klement developed the company’s first automobile named ‘Voiturette A’ (French for ‘small car’) – powered by a water-cooled two-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1,100 cm³ that generated 7 PS. Depending on the version of the vehicle, the engine’s power was transmitted to the rear wheels either through a chain or a drive shaft. Another engine milestone in the early years was the construction of one of the first eight-cylinder engines of the world in 1908. In the year 1924, even aircraft engines were built at Laurin and Klement.
After the merger with the ŠKODA plants in the year 1925, the development of engines continued to play a major role. In the 1930s, ŠKODA also made news with powerful racecars. After World War II, the first rear-mounted engine was a central development step (in 1964). 1987 brought the return of the front-mounted engine. The crucial impulse for the production of modern engines was given in 1991 with ŠKODA’s association with the Volkswagen Group.