21 March 2005

Skoda is to build a production version of the Roomster concept car, which was first shown at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. The new mini-MPV, which will rival the Renault Modus and Honda Jazz, will go on sale in 2007 from around £9000.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Skoda’s head of technical development, Dr Harald Ludanek, claimed that public reaction had inspired the board’s decision. ‘We received hundreds of letters so we decided to build the car,’ he said.

Skoda chairman Detlef Wittig has already committed the brand to producing cars that ‘arouse emotions and excite’ and ‘feature a more distinctive design’. The production Roomster is expected to combine design elements of both the Paris show car and the Yeti concept (right), which was shown at the Geneva show.

The Roomster concept car featured a single rear door on the passenger side, though this is likely to be replaced by a more conventional five-door arrangement. But the wrap-around windscreen, redesigned grille and vertical tail lights are destined for production, and are part of Skoda’s new design signature.

With an overall length of 4055mm, the Roomster concept car is 263mm longer than a Modus and 210mm longer than a Jazz, which is in keeping with Skoda’s philosophy of offering slightly more car for the same money, and should bode well for passenger space. Ludanek also confirmed that Skoda is developing a replacement for the Superb saloon. ‘The decision to push ahead with development was taken in December,’ he said. ‘The first prototypes are being made and the new model will go on sale in 2007.’

Next year, the current Superb will undergo a minor facelift with changes to the lights and interior trim. ‘Skoda’s brand awareness and image continues to grow,’ said Ludanek, ‘and we must continue to make small steps forwards.’

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