The name Laurin & Klement is of course a reference to the past of the car company from Mladá Boleslav, which until 1925, before it started using the name Škoda, was named after its founders, i.e. Laurin & Klement. In the nineties, this name returned, in the form of naming a luxury version of a Škoda model.
The very first car to be produced in the Laurin & Klement design was the Felicia. It was introduced to the world in 1995 and subsequently went on sale as a hatchback and station wagon.
The specialty was dark blue lacquer with a pearl effect, Felicia Laurin & Klement was also the first modern Skoda to receive bumpers and mirror covers in body color. The unique 13-inch alloy wheels with a retro design also had a great influence on the overall impression.
First time in leather
The standard equipment was remarkable, exceptionally rich for a Felicia of the time. At first glance, the interior was particularly impressive with its leather upholstery, which, by the way, is another priority that this car holds. It is the first modern Škoda equipped with leather upholstery. By the way, this not only got to the seats and the steering wheel, but also to the door panels.
Owners could also enjoy, for example, frontal airbags, an ABS system, heated front seats, electric mirrors, a tilting sunroof, central locking with remote control or a Blaupunkt Casablanca radio. It is interesting, however, that there was no power steering back then…
The basic price of Felicia Laurin & Klement in 1995 was CZK 328,700 for a hatchback and CZK 392,900 for a station wagon. The more practical design under the hood was standard with a 55 kW six-cylinder engine, the hatchback was available with a 50 kW thirteen-cylinder engine. For comparison – Felicia, which was launched as a novelty in October 1994, started at 209,000 crowns when it was launched on the market.
According to Škoda, only 3,806 Felicia Laurin & Klement units were produced, of which 1,477 were hatchbacks and 2,329 station wagons.
Inspiration also in the past
Overall, the Octavia model range has the richest history with Laurin & Klement equipment. It was presented in this top-of-the-line version in 1999, and the L&K equipment could then be purchased with it until 2020, i.e. until the end of production of the third generation.
Traditionally, the Laurin & Klement design also belongs to the Superb, it was available in all generations of the car produced so far – it first appeared in 2006. And it is also present in the current, recently introduced fourth generation. Among the SUVs, Laurin & Klement was equipped as the first Yeti model, which was produced in this version between 2012 and 2017. The Yeti was followed by the Kodiaq, and the L&K version is also available for the Enyaq and Enyaq Coupé electric SUVs.
“The designer must deal with every piece of equipment with the same dedication and rules. Each trim level uses different materials for the seats, door panels and trim pieces. In the direction of higher equipment, we can use more valuable materials, and for the L&K design we of course use the best. At the same time, there are a little more possibilities to incorporate more different details, such as inscriptions, embroidery or stitching,” says Markéta Kaliková, a designer from the Color & Trim team, which works on the interiors of Škoda cars.
In cars with the Laurin & Klement label, we can find the logo of the version on the seats (this is currently done by embroidery), the logo on the steering wheel, special decorative parts in the doors and on the dashboard, logos on the exterior of the car or even wheels in an exclusive design. “When designing these details, we are inspired by specific cars and elements that were used both in the distant past and in more modern Škoda L&K cars from recent decades,” adds Markéta Kaliková.