Skoda axes Fabia vRS


In the same week that Hyundai has announced a WRC-influenced road car, Skoda has confirmed its junior hot hatch is no more; as of next year, there will no longer be a Fabia vRS.

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.

Is the Skoda badge still an image issue?
Is the Skoda badge still an image issue?
However, the car will be pulled with Skoda citing poor sales. But given the supermini hot hatch class has witnessed a resurgence in 2013 with the 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.

And if that isn't enough of a bargain, how about a 63-plated car for £14,000? The entry point for current-shape vRS Fabias is around £9K, as demonstrated by this 10-plate Rallye Green car.

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.

 

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (145) Join the discussion on the forum

  • VeeFource 19 Sep 2013

    willmagrath said:
    I have a mk1 vrs, even with its few niggles that I can't afford to fix being a student, I still love it and it's awesome torque delivery! It's quicker mid range than quite a few 3.0 euro barges, can't go wrong smile
    Do you mean when the 3.0 euro barge is also in it's mid range or flat out? If it's the former then the petrol mid range spans about 1.5 times as many revs so it'll be a close run thing through the gears. If you mean the latter then, no, it definitely isn't.

    Edited by VeeFource on Thursday 19th September 21:18

  • willmagrath 19 Sep 2013

    I have a mk1 vrs, even with its few niggles that I can't afford to fix being a student, I still love it and it's awesome torque delivery! It's quicker mid range than quite a few 3.0 euro barges, can't go wrong smile

  • bobby_vimto 19 Sep 2013

    If it didn't look so tragically big headed and kept some of the sleekness of the MkI then Skoda would have shifted a lot more. The diesel Fabia vRS was just the right niche at the right time. People who were prepared to drive one of the 'new' Skodas liked the discreetness of something that was a bit punchy but without showing off too much. But for Skoda to just add some Jeremy Clarkson orientated "poooooooowaaaaaah" and a flappy paddle gearbox was rather misjudged. As was modelling the green ones on this dude.



  • CDP 19 Sep 2013

    What they should have done is fit the 2 litre TDI from the Audi A3 and tweak to 200+bhp through a manual transmission.

    But VAG would never let that happen.

  • ogrimwood 19 Sep 2013

    Really suprised by the poor sales performance, I live in York and you see loads of Fabia vRS around yet on the other hand I cannot tell you the last time I saw a Polo GTI.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment