Skoda has high hopes for its new Fabia, on sale next May.

The first generation Fabia was the car that marked Skoda’s transformation from peripheral figure to mainstream player, and the company is hoping the second-generation car will provide it with a similar surge in momentum.

Skoda is offering seven engines in its new supermini: four petrol (1.2 60PS, 1.2 70PS, 1.4 85PS and 1.6 105PS) and three diesels (1.4 70PS, 1.4 80PS, 1.9 105PS). A six-speed tiptronic auto gearbox will be an option for the first time, alongside features such as climate control and an iPod compatible stereo.

Boot space rises by 40 litres to 300 with the seats up, and by 147 litres to 1163 with the seats folded.

The five-door will appear at March’s Geneva motor show before May’s UK launch, with an estate following in January 2008.