Come play with me: Skoda Fabia vRS

Come play with me: Skoda Fabia vRS – launch report

Tony Meredith

Skoda has a new toy. And when I say toy, I mean a real, grown-up toy. In the wake of the success of its Octavia vRS, the Czech-based manufacturer has gone one better and produced a diesel-powered car born out of its Fabia WRC World Rally Car.

Excited? You should be.

For less than 12,000 [pounds sterling] you could own one of these very stylish superminis. Designed, according to Skoda, to be “more stealth than flash”, the Fabia vRS certainly looks more understated than some sportier rivals. But looks can be deceiving.

Under the bonnet the Fabia vRS sports a 1.9 TDI PD engine capable of putting out 130bhp with a hefty 310Nm of torque, all delivered through a six-speed manual box.

Of course, compare these figures to those of the Fabia WRC and there is no comparison but then most drivers would not be comfortable handling 300bhp and 600Nm of torque on the Queen’s highways.

With the Fabia vRS you not only get performance but you get economy too. Combined consumption is 55.4mpg while the CO2 figure of 138g/km places it in a lowly 18% tax bracket, including an extra 3% as the engine is not Euro IV compliant.

While a 0-62 time of 9.6s makes the Fabia vRS fast, it is not just quick from standstill and will give great acceleration even in fifth gear. Stopping the car is no problem either with its ventilated front discs to aid you. There’s also ABS, ASR and MSR electronic traction control too, just to be on the safe side.

The relatively serene interior belies the true nature of the vRS. The sturdy and functional dash looks good and solid, and has a simple, clutter-free layout which suits the car well.

Out on the road the Fabia vRS handles well.

The suspension is sharp but not overly so. It is a car that wants you to drive it That 130bhp of power seems much more noticeable here than in the larger Octavia. The kick as you push down on the accelerator is much more enjoyable.

There’s no doubt that the Fabia vRS is made for the winding roads of the countryside where it feels really at home. It will also suit urban and motorway environments nicely.

With its new Fabia vRS, Skoda has produced a lively supermini sure to win a lot of praise as well as owners.


OTR PRICE: 11,990 [pounds sterling]

ENGINE: Four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with high-pressure direct fuel injection system

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual

POWER: 130bhp@4000pm

TORQUE: 310Nm@1900rpm

C[O.sub.2] RATING: 138g/kM (18%)




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