Hot Fabia, how’s that for starters?
Skoda is looking for a raunchy start with the RS, writes PAUL GOVER
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.