This innovation can be found in the front LED Matrix headlights. And to put it simply, it is a small blue light element that is supposed to emphasize the contours of the modules and give them a unique colorful atmosphere. Crystallinium is of course a continuation of the crystalline design belonging to Škoda cars for several years. According to the designers of the brand, the fresh element develops the idea of working with glass in a new form.
“We were looking for a way to add additional value to the look of the lights on the new models. And colleague Martin Paclt came up with the idea of using color. This is also used in glassmaking, which is what our crystalline design is inspired by,” says Petr Nevřela, a specialist in headlight design at the Škoda Design department.
According to the car company, the color has the task of bringing a new effect to the headlights, creating a moment of surprise when the lights are turned on. However, the path to its implementation was not easy.
“The homologation forbids any other color than the one specified by the rules to shine in the forward direction,” Petr Nevřela describes the basic pitfalls. That is why other colors do not appear in car lights. So, if the designers wanted to use the color element in the headlights, they had to not only find a way to meet the homologation conditions, but also develop the entire element completely – completely from scratch.
A complex path to blue detail
“In the technical development department, we have a great group of experts in optical simulations and other disciplines, so we worked with them to tune the element towards homologation,” smiles Nevřela. One designer always worked on the design for each model, while in technical development, the task of finding a suitable solution was undertaken by a whole team of people with different specializations.
The way to meet the requirements of homologation was the correct shaping of these elements, which found a place on the sides of both LED modules. “At the same time, for a number of reasons, we were looking for a way to illuminate this element with the light that is already present in the headlight. Having a separate source would not only increase costs, but it could also cause problems in terms of installation in the entire headlight,” explains Nevřela.
Škoda points out that when designing headlights, it is always about millimeters in every direction – the designers try to achieve a low and elongated look of the headlight, they want to place the light elements as much as possible on the outside of the car. Then the lights optically expand the car, and the car thus acquires the correct proportions. Every little extra that is needed from a construction point of view can disturb the desired balance.
The constructors and designers finally managed to find a way to get some of the rays of light for the Crystallinium from the inner chamber of the module, which is otherwise carefully encapsulated everywhere on the sides so that the light only goes where it should. “We actually purposefully made a precise gap there for the controlled distribution of light,” says Nevřela.
The shaping of the element then took care of ensuring that the entire headlight met the requirements of homologation and did not shine forward with a color that is not permitted. “The inclination of the frontal facets protects the necessary measured area,” explains Nevřela. The illuminated Crystallinium element is made of polycarbonate, which enables the desired transparent coloring to be achieved with great precision and sharp edges. “It’s crystalline design at its best,” says Nevřela.
Then it was only necessary to choose a suitable color. “The Škoda brand has long been associated with shades of green, but we did not allow ourselves to be bound by it. Although the green didn’t look bad, we were looking for a color that would best match the widest possible range of car body colors. That’s also why we finally chose a cool blue shade,” Nevřela describes the path to the final form of the element.
And by the way, the new solution should also find use in other future Škoda models.