Hot Fabia, how’s that for starters?

Skoda is looking for a raunchy start with the RS, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

ARAUNCHY Czech com­pact is the pointer to the fu­ture of Skoda in Aus­tralia. The Fabia RS Con­cept, re­vealed at the Geneva Mo­tor Show last month, is seen as the best way to bring the Skoda starter car here.

The RS uses the 1.4-litre TSI sports en­gine from the Volk­swa­gen Group, which com­bines a su­per­charger and tur­bocharger, as well as a body kit which pumps the car out to a sim­i­lar look to the com­pany’s lat­est S2000.

‘‘We’ve said this is where we need to be with the Fabia to make it work in Aus­tralia.

It’s ex­cit­ing stuff,’’ Skoda boss Matthew Wies­ner says.

‘‘If we can get a hero car like that then it could be a bet­ter op­tion, to feed the car in from the top down. Par­tic­u­larly given that many of our col­leagues in the in­dus­try have been looking at go­ing the other way.’’

The Fabia RS, built un­der the com­pany’s V-sport divi­sion, is headed Europe next year and Wies­ner wants to get it as soon as pos­si­ble. The brand has also re­worked its Oc­tavia range and is plan­ning for the ar­rival of the pres­tige Su­perb be­fore the end of this year.

But work on the reg­u­lar Fabia mod­els is still stalling on prices, as Skoda needs to get it un­der $20,000 and away from the Volk­swa­gen Golf.

‘‘Ev­ery time we have sat down and done the num­bers it’s been dif­fi­cult,’’ Wies­ner says. ‘‘And cur­rency has made it more dif­fi­cult. ‘‘Once we have got more in­for­ma­tion on the RS we might re­think the Fabia strat­egy. We know how cars like this can go in Aus­tralia, with the cult fol­low­ing for cars like the Subaru WRX.

‘‘It would be good to built that sort of cult sta­tus with a Fabia. We’re not sure what en­gine will be in the car, ex­cept that it will be a petrol mo­tor and not a diesel.’’

Wies­ner also has the up­dated Oc­tavia RS com­ing later in the year, pack­ing more punch with a 147kW en­gine and DSG gear­box as well as some body changes, and be­lieves the brand could take a dif­fer­ent path in Aus­tralia.

‘‘We need bet­ter and smarter things with the larger cars we have com­ing,’’ he says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.