New Skoda Roomster unveiled at Geneva International Motor Show

Skoda Roomster, photo: CTK

Coming off a record year in 2005, driven by strong sales of its Octavia and Octavia Estate models, Skoda unveiled its first multi-purpose vehicle at the International Motor Show in Geneva on Tuesday. Based on low price, comfort and functionality - the Roomster is a car for the young generation with a fresh design, generous storage space and flexible seats.

Skoda Roomster, photo: CTK
Motoring expert Lyle Frink was there for its premiere and we spoke to him shortly after its unveiling:

"It was interesting because of the focus on functionality. Most auto unveilings are focussed on emotion and this was a focus on getting people into the car, taking out the seats, opening doors and finding out how the thing works."

Can you just describe it for us?

Skoda Roomster, photo: CTK
"It has basically got two parts- the front is a cockpit that makes you feel somewhat like a pilot and the back is for passengers and hauling stuff. It is an interesting functional mix because they used the front end of a Fabia and the back end of an Octavia. There's a place for mountain bikes inside, so it is very functional. You will be able two bikes and four passengers. It is also the first Skoda to come with an advanced lighting system which means that the lights will bend around corners with you - which is quite a nice thing."

So it is a car for the young generation, predominantly?

Skoda Roomster, photo: CTK
"Yes, I'd say it is for young, active people who want to haul things with them - bikes, skis, and children. I think they are trying to make sure that they don't just fit into the categorization of being another small minivan but something special, something with room and a lot of little clever touches that you want to get your hands on not just see it go past you on the street."

How has it been received?

"Quite well and as I said it is interesting for me to see people get into the car and not just look at it."

Skoda Roomster, photo: CTK
So when will it be available on European markets and what will the price be?

"It should cost three hundred and forty thousand crowns in the Czech Republic or thirteen thousand and two hundred euro. I believe they are going to make around fifteen thousand Roomsters this year and forty to fifty thousand next year."

At a time when drivers are feeling the high price of gasoline - customers will be able to choose between three petrol engines and three other diesel ones, with a manual or automatic gearbox. The Roomster will be manufactured here in the Czech Republic at the Kvasiny Skoda -Volkswagen plant.