MTX Roadster: A bag with a draft

We all know the favorite behind the wheel. But still, sometimes you manage to get behind the wheel of a version that is not entirely common. This time I will enjoy the wind in my hair in an interesting MTX Roadster.

The Škoda Favorit is a car that everyone has an opinion on, and there are definitely plenty of negative ones in the discussion. This is despite the fact that this is not an ordinary Favorite, but one of its most interesting versions - the open MTX Roadster from the domestic company Metalex. Director Petr Bold invented it personally, and thank God for his idea. The project was then led by engineer Ivan Solfronk. Although it was not a novelty, MTX had previously sold a convertible from a Škoda Rapid. In addition, the open MTX Roadster is celebrating 30 years since the start of production this year, so it deserves a small historical look back.

The pleasing and successful shapes of Marc Deschamps from the Bertone studio (but yes, even the famous designer had to make a lot of compromises, the most famous are the stories about the headlights) were further improved in the case of Roadster by master Václav Král. He rejected the original idea of ​​maintaining a four-door five-seater body (but later the MTX Cabrio appeared on the basis of Felicia, which was a four-door and four-seater) and designed a two-seater two-door roadster. The car is identical only to the A-pillar and the bottom of the front door (they would suit an extension, but it was not possible), then followed by redesigned sides without a rear door and rear with a distinctive spoiler. A body kit with a different mask is also a success (here, however, there is another one with additional high beams), bumpers and thresholds. Metalex also supplied fourteen-inch wheels as standard. Felicias, such as side turn signals or mirrors.

The Roadster is, of course, very reinforced, and behind the front seats are massive protective arches similar to those that Metalex put on its formulas. Seat belts are also attached to them. Thorough reinforcement means that the Roadster is 45 kilograms heavier than the standard Favorit. But a lot of body parts are made of laminate. It's interesting that you don't even feel the extra pounds while driving, the Roadster still drives like a Favorite, it's just even noisier. And you can hear the same sounds, such as the typical click of a turn signal relay. Of course, the position behind the steering wheel is the same (the only adjustment option is to move the seat and adjust the inclination of the backrest), so not everyone will sit in it completely comfortably. The view outside to the front and sides is excellent thanks to the thin columns.

There are also a lot of changes in the interior

The MTX Roadster is only a two-seater, the front part of the spacious and square interior, and took over the equipment practically without changes from the facelifted black version (the oldest models still had a brown LS interior). The only change is the missing side window frame, and vice versa an added column. However, the side windows are not divided and contract under this added reinforcement. Electric windows, whose switches can be found on the deck (holes in the handles remain), and central locking, are also above standard. The seats come from a better version of the GLX. A small sports steering wheel complicates driving without a power steering a bit, but in short, you have to unwind some slower corners a bit. The black roof is canvas with manual and quite simple operation, quite quickly folded it hides under the leatherette cover for snaps. At the rear, there is a luggage compartment with a volume of 420 liters, ie 20 liters more, under the newly redesigned lid.

Metalex did not embark on major technical events, so the car left the concept all in front and also the original transversely located eight-valve in-line four-cylinder, which paired with a manual five-speed transmission (it has a fairly long run in the scenery). At that time, it was an absolute novelty at Škoda regarding the concept, when it again compared to the global trend in the segment. Fortunately, Škoda did not use the engine from the Škoda 120 at the time but developed innovative powertrains 135 and 136. Here is the engine 136, but already in a modernized version B with single-point injection Bosch Mono Motronic, controlled catalytic converter, 68 horsepower, and 100 Nm of torque, which has been installed since 1992. The maximum speed is 145 km / h. Metalex equipped the car with sports silencers and exhaust to underline the uniqueness of the car.

Driving characteristics can be praised

Yes, Favorit can also be recognized in the fact that Metalex does not have a booster (which you still do not need while driving, it would only be useful when parking). Thanks to that, however, its control has a nice reaction and similarly, one could talk about how the Roadster reacts to the depressing of the accelerator pedal. The connection of the pedal with the throttle valve by cable works without delay and willingly drives the engine to speed. Yes, it's still the dynamics of the original engine's performance, but the reactions are definitely to the detriment of driving the Roadster.

In addition, the MTX has a lower center of gravity and a slightly stiffer chassis, so it tilts less in corners and is not significantly understeered. The tax for this is, of course, a lower level of comfort in the broken Czech districts. The chassis is no technical marvel, the front independently suspended wheels are complemented by a rear rigid axle. The bikes are bigger, but it doesn't matter on a good road. Maybe I would only sharpen the brakes a bit, but that's enough for a quieter ride. This makes Metalex not look very different from current production. When it comes to drafts, you can't avoid it in Roadster. As early as 70 km / h, it starts to blow into the car, and at higher speeds, there is a strong lack of a windshield, which you may have to do yourself.

Recently, new Roadsters were still available

While the production of the Favorit ended in 1994, Metalex produced the Roadsters only recently. However, this was an exception, a special limited five-piece Edition 50 with improved equipment for the brand's 50th anniversary. After all, the original series was only more numerous. A total of 200 Roadsters are actually from the '90s and were manufactured until the end of 1996. Most of them were aimed at export, some were sold as kits to be completed at home. This is the 167th made in 1996.

The new Roadster then cost 298 thousand crowns (Favorit LS cost almost 151 thousand crowns), today it would be 930 thousand in terms of inflation. That was a lot of money, but still only two-thirds of the price of the Golf Cabriolet. Today, the price ranges from 600 thousand crowns upwards for a few used pieces, so it is not exactly the cheapest way to ride with the wind in your hair. But it reminds us again of a time when a Czech company was able to cut off the roof of a normal car and sell it to you, which I simply cannot imagine with Fabia. And old lovers will be pleased with how they will be connected to the car every kilometer and how predictable this car is.

Of course, Metalex also has some of its flies. Corrosion does not avoid it as well as the original Favorit. The car may be bothered by leaking engine or transmission oil (it usually leaks around the simerink) as well as play in the axles. At least servicing the car is very easy. In addition, probably all specimens have some finishing touches and modifications. And a lot of manual work is also known on the Roadster, which I definitely don't mean as a compliment. The workshop workmanship was worse than with the Favorit, and different widths of joints are evident throughout the car. Nevertheless, for Škoda enthusiasts and fans, the MTX Roadster definitely has its charm and I actually like it a lot.

He also has certain investment potential, so I simply cannot issue a bad certificate to him. After all, I was looking forward to the ride with him as a little boy and I wouldn't mind having this Fáček with a draft in the garage. But I also have an understanding for those to whom this car says nothing at all. If so, don't miss the Škoda Rally meeting in Běšiny this weekend, this car will definitely be there and it won't be alone.

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