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.


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Comments (157) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Trikster 13 Sep 2013

    Was a big fan of the original one, ran one as a snotter a couple of years ago and it was great fun.

    The new one though just looked wrong (imho) - didn't appear to be one thing or another and without a USP like the original being a diesel I think it lost it's market

    The Octavia vRS is still going strong (current daily driver) but wondering if they might get bitten again given the price of the new one...

  • Chickentonight 13 Sep 2013

    Well if it's too similar to the polo and the ibiza, why not just make the next one a diesel VRS?

  • IanV12 13 Sep 2013

    should have kept it unique like the original, a wolf in sheeps clothing

  • HorneyMX5 13 Sep 2013

    I'm surprised at the poor sales comment as I see more of these on teh roads than I do Polo GTIs or Ibizaa.

  • wab172uk 13 Sep 2013

    Was talking to a Skoda dealer earlier this year, when sorting out a couple company cars. Funnily enough he was talking about the Fabia vRS.

    Since they made it a 1.4 and gave it an Auto only gearbox, sales fell through the floor.

    Just goes to show that not everyone wants a Auto gearbox !!!

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