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Skoda reportedly ready to axe Fabia RS

Last call?: The current Skoda Fabia vRS could be the last, with a company executive telling the press in Frankfurt last week that it was on the chopping block from the next-generation.

Next-gen Skoda Fabia reportedly won't include a hot vRS version

Skoda logo16 Sep 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO

SKODA will reportedly axe the vRS hot hatch variant from its Fabia light-car range when the next-generation model premieres in 2014.

Instead, the Volkswagen subsidiary will likely focus on new versions of the familiar Monte Carlo edition, which add requisite cosmetic accoutrements without additional grunt under the bonnet.

The expected decision to pare back the Fabia range would leave the larger Octavia vRS as the sole remaining car from the Czech brand to carry to badge beyond that time.

Skoda board member for technical development Frank Welsch informed European media in Frankfurt last week of the company’s decision, telling Autocar
that “a lot of people think the Fabia vRS is a great car, but we cannot work on cars that everyone likes by only a few people buy”.

The current Fabia vRS launched in Australia in 2012, and shares its 132kW/250Nm turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-litre engine and standard seven-speed DSG with the more popular VW Polo GTI.

The next-generation Fabia has been locked in for global reveal next year, although more specific dates are unclear. A debut at next year’s Paris motor show in September would not seem unreasonable.

In a surprise twist, it appears this next model may not be based on the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous MQB architecture, which underpins the new Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia but can be shrunken or stretched in substantial degrees.

Dr Welsch told British publication Auto Express that the MQB would be adapted for VW Polo-sized cars in future, but “not in time for the Fabia”.

It seems likely the 2014 Fabia will use VW’s newest range of engines and infotainment, but perhaps a re-worked version of the current platform to keep costs down.

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