Škoda Favorit is a model name that the Czechoslovak (and now Czech) car maker Škoda Auto has used for two series of car models.
The first series was the Type 904 which was a 1.8 litre car built from 1936 to 1939, and its successor the Type 923 which was a 2.1 litre car built from 1938 to 1941. These two models had little commercial success and were discontinued after only 223 examples had been built. After their commercial failure, Škoda did not use the Favorit model name again for 46 years.
The second series is the Type 781 range of supermini cars that was made from 1987 to 1995. It was Škoda's first car to follow the European trend of locating the engine at the front, mounted transversely, and was also their first car to use front-wheel drive. The Favorit was premiered in July 1987 at the Brno Engineering Fair.
This latest Favorit eventually succeeded the ageing rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Škoda 105/120 Estelle, and was a considerable move towards the modern mainstream in design terms thanks to its Bertone-designed hatchback body and front-wheel drive. However, the Favorit initially took a long time to get to market - Škoda's then owner, the communist government of Czechoslovakia approved the development of this new front-wheel drive car back in 1982, with actual development not starting until 1983. Disputes between the government’s brief, and Nuccio Bertone, the designer, meant that the car was not designed until mid-1985, and full production wouldn't commence until 1987. Probably the worst aspects of this dispute is that a four-door saloon was fully designed, but was never allowed to go into production.
The Favorit proved itself as one of Central Europe's most popular cars, and was also exported to a number of countries including Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Israel, Poland, Russia, Turkey and other countries.
The Favorit was replaced in 1994 by the Škoda Felicia, which was developed in conjunction with Volkswagen Group, who were by then the owners of Škoda Auto.
It is perhaps comparable to the Volkswagen Polo (fuel injected versions share the Bosch Mono-Motronic 1.2.3 engine management system with the Volkswagen Polo Mk2 and Volkswagen Golf Mk3) due to its large engine compartment, contributing to the possibility of easy repair. Parts are very universal with other Eastern European cars. Its general design and mechanical functionality is very practical, especially in comparison to a Western car which requires expensive parts, or maintenance for simple knobs, buttons or other simple mechanical and rudimentary apparatus.
Some 50,000 examples of the Favorit were sold in the UK from 1989 to 1995, although just 232 were still on the road by December 2016, and they were disappearing fast. A 1993-reg blue Favorit became famous after it drove from Anfield, Liverpool to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid for the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final, before making the return journey to Anfield. The outbound journey was filmed by British YouTuber and Liverpool fan Simon Wilson. The car cost a total of £40 and had three MOT failures, but once they were rectified it was retested and passed with five advisories.