MO­TORS

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS -

THE 2010 model year up­dates to the Fabia were un­veiled at that year’s Geneva Show and com­prised new en­gines, a fresh face and a whole raft of tech­ni­cal re­fine­ments.

We had to wait un­til July to get our hands on the vRS sports mod­els ar­riv­ing in July, but it was worth the wait. A su­per­mini with 180PS at its el­bow is al­ways some­thing se­ri­ously good fun. Skoda also of­fered the model with its es­tate bodystyle.

The brand does tend to love a spe­cial edi­tion or two and in Novem­ber 2010, the first of this shape ar­rived in the form of the rather lovely vRS S2000 to com­mem­o­rate Skoda’s suc­cess in the In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Rally Chal­lenge.

The front of the car got a mi­nor tweak at the start of 2013, with the Fabia now wear­ing the re­vised badge and sport­ing Skoda let­ter­ing on its bootlid.

In June 2014, the re­place­ment Fabia was an­nounced, which was duly un­veiled at the Paris Mo­tor Show in Oc­to­ber sig­nalling the end of this MK2 vRS model’s pro­duc­tion life. The Fabia has quite a dis­tinc­tive shape for a mod­ern su­per­mini with its long bon­net and large glass area.

The vRS version in­her­its th­ese ba­sics and adds a col­lec­tion of de­sign fea­tures that sug­gest it might be a lit­tle quicker than the norm.

Re­designed bumpers ex­tend fur­ther down­wards, giv­ing the car a lower, more ath­letic stance. At the back, a dif­fuser is built into the bumper along with twin ex­hausts and a sub­tle spoiler is added above the rear screen.

Buy­ers also get 17” al­loy wheels with red brake cal­lipers peep­ing through the spokes.

The vRS ex­te­rior couldn’t be ranked amongst the most eye­catch­ing in the hot hatch class but it suc­cess­fully gives the five-door Fabia a sharper sport­ing edge.

Re­mind­ing the driver of the po­ten­tial un­der their right foot are al­loy ped­als, a three-spoke leather steer­ing wheel and cloth sports seats with vRS badges on the back­rests.

As in all Fabias, build qual­ity is im­pres­sive and there’s plenty of space for four oc­cu­pants with a par­tic­u­lar sur­plus of head­room.

Just as un­ortho­dox is the fact that the Fabia vRS can be or­dered ei­ther as a five-door hatch or an es­tate.

If you’re af­ter a fast small car that will go all but un­no­ticed, the vRS es­tate will be tough to beat.

There cer­tainly aren’t many al­ter­na­tives that can of­fer this kind of pace along with a 480-litre boot ca­pac­ity for sim­i­lar money. The Fabia hasn’t al­ways en­joyed a spot­less rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity, with the first gen­er­a­tion cars hav­ing quite a patchy record.

The sec­ond gen model tight­ened qual­ity up markedly and the facelifted version went an­other stage fur­ther.

There are still some resid­ual elec­tri­cal and sus­pen­sion nig­gles that have re­fused to go away, but on the whole, the Fabia scores well above av­er­age for re­li­a­bil­ity. As if to con­firm its sta­tus as the sen­si­ble face of hot hatch­back mo­tor­ing, the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion Fabia vRS had an el­derly diesel en­gine.

It was far from the dis­as­ter that it sounds but the ma­jor­ity of buy­ers in this sec­tor at the mar­ket will feel more affin­ity with the 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit.

The en­gine is ac­tu­ally tur­bocharged and su­per­charged, help­ing it to a max­i­mum power out­put of 180PS and a 0-60mph sprint of 7.3s.

The turbo works at the top of the rev range while the su­per­charger boosts low end torque to lev­els fa­mil­iar to own­ers of the old diesel vRS Fabias.

The 1.4 TSI twin-charge en­gine works on the prin­ci­ple that even mod­ern tur­bocharg­ers take a while to get into their stride and in­serts a su­per­charger into the mix that can boost per­for­mance at low en­gine speeds while that hap­pens. The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Skoda Fabia vRS is one of the for­got­ten hot hatches.

So much fuss was made of the Ford Fi­esta ST and the Re­nault­sport Clio that the Skoda just sol­diered on in the back­ground, qui­etly pick­ing up sales.

As a used buy there’s a lot to be said for it, es­pe­cially if you can pick up a low mileage ex­am­ple.

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