Headlights are the “jewelry” of the car – how are the lights made on Skoda models?

Headlight design is an important aspect of Skoda cars. Their project was prepared and coordinated by an experienced team of three people, who must combine artistic creativity and technical skills.

A decade ago, the design of car headlights was determined by the designers responsible for the exterior design of vehicles. However, the development in the field of design, and above all technical development, initiated far-reaching changes. for this reason Skoda has formed a special team that is fully involved in the design of the vehicle’s exterior lighting.

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Škoda Auto, design, hidden characters, SB HF, světlaři, team
A special Skoda team deals with the design of the exterior lighting of the car.

In the past, headlights were developed relatively simple – everything was hidden under the outer glass. However, with the advent of modern technology, the interior design of the headlights has become an open part for change and is now an important part of the car’s personality. Explains Petr Nevřela, who leads the project team. – The dynamic development of technology in recent years has allowed designers to create new functional groups – He adds.

The exterior lighting of the car complements its character today, but at the same time it provides a wide range of functions. – The headlights and taillights become exquisite “jewelry” Peter Nevgela says: At the same time, the lamps must meet a number of strict approval requirements, and at the same time meet the increasingly demanding aesthetic requirements.

In the beginning there was a glass

The designers – Peter Neville, Martin Bucklett and Michael Hess – were inspired by this carved glass models. For many years, the offering of Skoda models has been the use of crystal glass in prototypes. – Working with glass for model cars is very inspiring, but also very challenging. And not only for us, but also for glass manufacturers who make individual items for us Peter says.

Meticulously crafted glass items are the biggest inspiration for designers. The team is trying to move As many solutions as possible from concept to automotive chainWhere you need to use parts made of polycarbonate. – We can cut almost anything in glass and the dimensions don’t block us. However, polycarbonate has some limitations, for example in terms of the thickness of the material and the rounding of its edges Peter Nevgela explains.

However, the unique “crystalline” character of the lamps is preserved even in mass production. For example, Peter mentions the current generation Skoda Octavia – in the taillights An innovative 3D crystal design, previously rendered in prototypes, has been submitted to mass production.

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The current generation Skoda Octavia has innovative 3D elements in the taillights.

Fight for tenths of a millimeter

According to Martin Bakelta Reflective design for mass production is a struggle of tenths of a millimeter. – Initially, we prepare a diagram that expresses our vision. Then the technical requirements gradually appear, and we often encounter limitations Martin says, adding that there has to be a middle ground when designing lighting. – The fact that we all have a mix of technical and technical education on the team helps a lot in our work Martin adds. This allows team members to be creative with the initial lighting design, while also being technically adept at translating the vision into reality.

We often have bold ideas and try to develop the internal structure of the lamps so that the original vision is preserved even after the technical standards are met. – says Michai Hess. according to him The current trend is to shrink headlights to make them look innovative The car is often visually enlarged. – However, sometimes we can’t match the technology to the originally intended dimensions and you might be surprised how a single millimeter changes the overall perception of the reflector’s appearance. – says Michai Hess.

Another point that designers should consider is the purpose of the lights. – We actually do two projects in one: day and night. Either way, the light must look great and meet all approved functional and requirements Martin Bakelta explains.

Long design process

Headlight design takes approximately 2 to 3 years of labor for each model. This is the time it takes to convert the first vision into a functional light. The design team begins work on the possible shapes of the daytime running lights and taillights in the initial design phase of the vehicle’s exterior. – We are always working on several projects at the same time. And it concerns not only the headlights and taillights, but also other elements such as fog lights and other lighting elements. Each of them requires, in principle, the same amount of work Martin Bakelt says:

In addition to drawings and 3D models, designers of course also make physical models of the lights. – In my experience, it’s important to create a physical model as quickly as possible. I’m working on a reflector for our future model, as I had an exact idea from the get-go. We decided to quickly prepare a real model of this inverter, which may surprise the employees of our management. Thanks to this, my proposal got the green light in ten seconds – says Michai. We’ll likely see a spotlight on the market in the next few years.

The way to the future

A good example of a successful project is the luminous crystal grill cover, which can be ordered by buyers of the Skoda Enyaq iV electric car (which is very popular – it is ordered by about 35% of buyers!). – This idea was born in our design workshop and we gradually developed it into a form that can clearly be said to be a feasible and affordable solution. Peter Nevgela says: Skoda is also one of the pioneers of this important direction: according to designers of car lamps, it will come in the near future.Light will play an increasingly important role in vehicle design, and stronger lighting at the front and rear of the vehicle will serve as a direction Peter says.

Crystal Face Grill on an electric Skoda Enyaq iV.

It is important to harmoniously combine individual elements. According to Martin Bakelt, the Enyaqu iV turned out to be great. – Peter was in charge of the Crystal Face, and I worked on the reflectors that managed to make it look like glass Martin says. Petr Nevřela headlights indicate that the headlights of the latest generation Skoda Fabia also have a very pronounced design. – Here we have successfully applied our distinctive style of design Peter adds.

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The headlights of the new generation Skoda Fabia have an effective “crystalline” filler.

This is the trend in lighting technology today. – The lights as a functional “jewelry” of the car will also become a means of communication in the future Peter says. This will be especially noticeable In the age of self-driving cars that will communicate with the environment – for example with pedestrians – using advanced front lighting zones.Sophisticated LED lights will look like huge luminous flux displays Peter says.

In the future, in addition to the design of the lights and the signature of the light itself, designers will have to deal with the possibilities of exclusivity and communication. The Skoda design team is already looking forward to the future that was known as science fiction not too long ago.

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