While details are somewhat thin on the ground at present as Skoda plays its cards close to the chest, we know that underneath the car will be an heavily reworked version of the current platform that borrows from the new Volkswagen Group MQB platform – as used by the current Golf, Audi A3 and Octavia – without being a truly new base. The new car will be wider and lower, along with a small increase in wheelbase to improve the available interior space.
The new Fabia borrows its looks heavily from the Skoda Rapid, with a prominent bonnet centre ridge, multi-plane tailgate section and sharply creased, high swage line. There’s a very aggressive kink at the rear of the rear three-quarterlight, compared to the softer present model. Combined with the wider stance and lower overall profile, the new Fabia ought to be a more imposing road presence than the current version.
It seems a pity then that there are no plans for a vRS model – the vRS range has not been especially commercially successful in the Fabia – but you can anticipate the usual selection of the Volkswagen Group’s small capacity petrol engines and 1.2- to 1.6-litre diesel engines. We’ll be interested to see what a putative Greenline model can return on the combined cycle, piggybacking on the VW BlueMotion technology, given the current model’s thrifty 88g/km CO2 figures.
Of course it’s far too early to go into prices, but the new Fabia is mere like-for-like replacement and we’d be very surprised if the starting prices weren’t just under £10,000, just as with the current model. Only the five door has been shown so far, but we’re also interested in the estate model, given the superb value of the current offering.
With a new, sharp-looking model and upmarket pretensions on a budget, will it be a case of look out, Ford Fiesta?