24 June 2004

Skoda’s next-generation Fabia will hatch an MPV spin-off based on the Roomster concept, Autocar can reveal. It will be the first model from the Czech company to strike a new styling direction after recent conservative offerings such as the Octavia.

Leaked internal documents confirm that the Fabia MPV will be launched in 2006, the same year as the replacement for the current supermini. The range will be split into three, with a conventional supermini-sized hatchback, estate and the new mini-MPV to rival the Vauxhall Meriva/Fiat Idea.

The new small Skodas will share hardware from the new Polo, whose platform is codenamed PQ24. That means a spread of typical small-car attributes, with front-wheel drive, transverse-mounted petrol and turbodiesel engines and all the latest gizmos such as electronic stability control and optional sat-nav.

Thomas Ingenlath, Skoda’s design chief, told Autocar earlier this year that the Roomster MPV concept – first shown at autumn 2003’s Frankfurt Motor Show – was being investigated as a future addition to the Skoda model range. He said it could signal a fresh design direction for the Czech company.

‘We are working on the theme, seeing if there will a production version,’ he said. ‘We will see – the project is certainly alive. We are proud to have a successful three-car range, but we are looking for new models in the future. The Roomster is a direction for Skoda’s future design language.’

Skoda will launch the mini-MPV first, followed later in 2006 by the Fabia hatchback; the small estate will be offered about a year later. Expect prices from £8000, roughly the same money as today’s models.

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