SKODA AXES FABIA VRS
Poor sales mean the vRS won't be replaced, but will it be missed?
Okay, calling the Fabia vRS a rally-influenced road car may be stretching it a bit with just 180hp, but it did provide a tangible link between Skoda's road cars and a successful rally campaign. The Fabia S2000 took the IRC Manufacturers' title for Skoda in three consecutive years from 2010-2012, in which time Juho Hanninen took a Drivers' championship also.
Fiesta ST, Clio 200 and 208 GTI triumvirate, surely now is the time to start planning a rival? There will inevitably be another Polo GTI and Ibiza Cupra, but then perhaps that's part of the problem as well as the solution; the cars are currently too similar and Skoda has lost out.
At present, they all use 180hp 1.4-litre twincharged engines and seven-speed DSG 'boxes. They aren't totally identical but, at £16,915, the Fabia is £1,660 less than the Ibiza and a hefty £2,020 less than the Polo.
Moreover, no discussion of fast Fabias would be complete without mentioning the first generation, diesel-only car. Unique in a market of Mini Coopers and Ford SportKas, it attracted quite a following thanks to its subtle looks, huge torque and easily tweaked engine. This 2006 silver vRS looks great at £4K.