Built to continue Skoda’s domination of the WRC’s support category, the new Fabia now gains the RS badge.
Skoda has officially revealed its new Fabia RS Rally2 car, intended to continue the company’s success in junior World Rally Championship categories.
Since the first version was launched in 2010, the Fabia has achieved 15 major title wins, whilst racking up thousands of rally victories. Skoda notes that the new car’s predecessor, the Fabia Rally2 and Evo version, managed 1,700 wins alone!
The all-new rally machine, based upon the latest fourth-generation Fabia supermini, is determined to keep being a winner.
Skoda has even blessed it with ‘RS’ badging, first used for its early RS 180 and 200 rally cars. The name later appeared on the legendary 130 RS, and then numerous modern road-going Skoda models. Such as the Octavia vRS owned by ESM’s Editor.
Sigh. Another 300 hp supermini
Developed specifically for Rally2 regulations, the new Fabia RS uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This is derived from the 2.0-litre EA888 petrol engine, found in road-going RS models.
Developing 289 hp, 317 lb-ft of torque, it is combined with a five-speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive. A mechanical clutch operates to separate the front and rear axles when the handbrake is pulled, allowing for those epic hairpin slides.
With relatively short gearing, optimised for twistier rally stages, the Fabia RS Rally2 can hit a top speed of 124 mph.
This is aided by the new Fabia’s improved aerodynamics, which has also seen the level of downforce almost doubled.
Better safety for those inside
Using the new Fabia’s bodyshell sees the RS Rally2 grow in width, with a longer wheelbase improving weight distribution.
Skoda has improved side-impact protection, with a new energy-absorbing structure made of foam between the outer door skin and the interior. The door panels themselves use a mixture of carbon fibre and kevlar for enhanced safety.
As for the bold new Hyper Green livery, this is a nod to the same colour used on the latest Skoda Octavia vRS and electric Enyaq iV Coupe vRS.
Time to manage our expectations
Naturally, the emergence of a new performance Fabia will have people asking questions about whether a road-going version will follow. ESM would probably bet on ‘no’, with Skoda likely to point to the Fabia Monte Carlo as its own rally-inspired offering.
Whilst the forthcoming Fabia Monte Carlo is undoubtedly sweet, 150 hp and front-wheel drive are not the same as a 300 hp supermini with all-wheel drive. Essentially, we’re demanding a Skoda equivalent of the Toyota GR Yaris.
Whether a new Fabia vRS appears or not, what is more than likely is that the new Rally2 version will continue to dominate the motorsport world. It’ll still never be as cool as the Skoda Octavia WRC though…