KVASINY, Czech Republic -- Skoda has built its Roomster the way the youngest member of a large family often puts together an outfit – with a mix of donations from older siblings.
The five-seat small minivan is built on a composite platform cobbled from Skoda and parent VW group modules. The front end is based on the small-segment Skoda Fabia; the rear end comes from the first-generation Octavia lower-medium model; and a chunk in the center is supplied by the current Golf.
Skoda technical chief Harald Ludanek says the Roomster is the first Skoda to be developed using VWs modular philosophy. The process allows several distinct models to be developed off the same platform without major engineering changes.
This enables new ideas for future cars or segments, he said.
With its streamlined parallelogram motif incorporated throughout the car, including headlights, side windows and interior door handles, the Roomster is the most overtly styled Skoda in decades. Indeed, Britain magazine Auto Express calls it probably the most innovative car Skoda has produced in its history.
Skoda Chairman Detlef Wittig says the Roomster demonstrates that the Czech automaker, more known for sturdy engineering than for break-the-mold styling, also knows how to pack emotion into a design.
The Roomster concept is rational, yet the design is emotional, he said at the minivans press introduction in Prague in May.
An internal bike holder and oversized panoramic sunroof are offered as options on the Roomster.
The bike holder, which was designed and is manufactured by Skoda, runs parallel to the back edge of the luggage compartment and clips onto the car frame.
This was not a late addition, Ludanek said. This has been crash tested and was integrated into the Roomster design from the very beginning.
The sunroof is supplied by ArvinMeritor. Sunroof selection determines the placement of support ribs and the size of the top metal roof panel. Factory sources say nearly half of all Roomsters are being ordered with the option, which costs E630.
Skoda builds the Roomster in Kvasiny, Czech Republic factory alongside the Superb large car. Skoda plans to make 350 Roomsters a day once three shifts are added later this year.
You may e-mail Lyle Frink at [email protected]