Skoda Fabia vRS ditches diesel
06 June 2008
Author: Hugh Hunston
Skoda is reviving the vRS-badged Fabia - but with a petrol, not diesel engine.
An output of up to 170PS is planned for the new generation Czech hot hatch.
Business drivers who bought the original, tax-efficient 130PS diesel Fabia will have to be patient for the1.4-litre turbo TFSI-powered supermini, with Skoda's chairman Reinhard Jung predicting its arrival will be "within two years".
Jung said: "We know people, particularly in Britain, have been waiting for a new vRS Fabia, and the engine will be a development of the 1.4-litre TFSI petrol unit. We have the opportunity to bring it up to 174 horsepower but we have not decided the final output."
Answering claims the vRS might compromise the appeal of its 50mpg-plus diesel-powered predecessor, a Skoda UK insider said: "With UK diesel prices climbing it could be a timely move. It takes ever-higher mileages to recoup the extra cost of a diesel model plus higher pump prices. We expect this car to have good CO2 and mpg figures."
In 2006 the vRS accounted for 18% of UK Fabia hatchback sales. The 125PS version of the 1.4-litre TFSI engine in Audi's A3 generates a CO2 rating of 154g/km.
Meanwhile, Skoda's small Yeti 4x4, due on sale from September next year, will feature both two- and four-wheel-drive variants, competing head-on with Nissan's Qashqai and Fiat's Sedici.