Škoda built a range of popular mid-sized cars in the 1930s. The company also planned to offer an even smaller people’s car. Called the Sagitta the first prototype was completed in 1936 – 80 years ago.
The project of a completely new range of Škoda cars commenced in 1933 with the 420 Standard. It was powered by a 1-liter engine producing 20 hp. In the following season the offer was extended even down a bit by presenting a variety 418. This model had a 0.9 liter engine with 18 hp and a smaller and lighter body. Quite unexpectedly, the 418 -known officially as the Popular – was most favoured as a utility vehicle, bodied as a small van or truck.
It soon became apparent that there is a market for an even smaller car, evidenced by the popularity of the Aero 662 which was powered by a 2-cylinder engine.
So the project 215 was conceived The first digit as always referred to the number of cylinders, while 15 was the engine power. It was a four-stroke, air-cooled V2 unit. The usual Škoda central tube frame was kept, but its wheelbase was reduced to 2100 mm. Overall length not exceeded 3400 mm (today the Škoda Citigo is 3563 mm long). The first sketches were created in the spring of 1935.
The first fully functioning prototype of the new people’s car was built in 1936. It was oficially named Sagitta. By 1938 around seven prototypes have been completed ü in different body variants. They were test vehicles, so differed among themselves, with the shape of the door or the rear fenders. The basic variant was planned to be a two-door, four-seater “Tudor” and attractive complement to the offer were to be a 2+2 seater coupe variant. While the Sagitta never made it to serial production, several of its featured appeared in the Popular.
One coupe today survives in the company’s collection. It was bought from its last owners in 1973 and restored in 2008-2009.