We're big fans of the Skoda Roomster and its funky greenhouse that incorporates the kind of quirky styling that we don't often get here in the States. We're also all about the new panel van movement that appears to be catching on here, which is no doubt inspired by the many paneled commercial vehicles offered in Europe. Thus, it's no surprise we were interested to hear that Skoda has just unveiled a panel van version of the Roomster called the Praktik. It basically subscribes to the panel van formula of replacing windows behind the B-pillar with steel panels and converting the interior behind the front seats into a freight compartment. Unfortunately, the greenhouse aft of the B-pillar is what makes the Roomster such an interesting vehicle, and that element is gone from the Praktik, replaced with odd-looking shapes on the side of the vehicle from the sheet metal panels. The Praktik offers a payload of 1,234 lbs. and three engine choices ranging from a 1.2-liter gas unit, 1.4-liter gas unit and 1.4-liter TDI. According to Autoblog Spanish, the Praktik will only be available in Eastern Europe from the spring of next year.

Check out more pics and the press release from Skoda after the jump.

[Source: Skoda via Autoblog Spanish]

PHOTO GALLERY:


PRESS RELEASE:

NEW COMMERCIAL VEHICLE _KODA PRAKTIK

Skoda Auto is going to extend its portfolio with a new commercial vehicle called _koda Praktik, a two-seater with a large freight compartment (volume 1,783 litres, length 1,555 mm, width 1,016-1,429 mm, height 987 mm) separated from the driver's cabin with a sliding panel. Considering the new vehicle's parameters, the Skoda Praktik is likely to be used primarily by delivery service providers, small traders, craftsmen and small and medium enterprises. Derived from the Skoda Roomster, the new Skoda Praktik offers handling properties and comfort of a passenger car. The driver's cabin offers enough storage space in the door and passenger areas, including a holder for parking receipts, a door-mounted bottle holder and a cup holder in the console between the seats. It differs from the current N1 version by its specifically designed freight compartment.

The Skoda Praktik's basic equipment level includes ABS with a brake assistant, four airbags (driver, passenger and two side airbags) and an adjustable steering wheel. Optional equipment levels include ASR, "Corner" fog lamps, a radio and phone control module, a mobile navigation preparation kit, and more. Storage compartments below the seats and behind them further increase the interior's use value.

The vehicle's interior is upholstered with Fresh Onyx (highly resistant surface material), the freight compartment floor is a three-unit system with an anti-slip finish. Solid and resistant sheet metal panels are used in the rear side door windows instead of glass. The tailgate window is glazed and can be supplemented with an optional security grid.

Offering a payload of 560 kg, the Skoda Praktik will be available with two petrol engines (1.2 12V HTP/51 kW and 1.4 16V/63 kW) and one diesel engine (1.4 TDI PD/51 kW). With a special modification the payload can be increased up to 640 kg. The launch of the Skoda Praktik production & sales are scheduled to start in the spring of 2007.


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