The next Skoda Fabia city car is due to be unveiled at the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October, and details of the newly designed model are starting to emerge. It will go on sale in the second half of next year and is expected to continue with the same underpinnings as the current model, rather than be build upon the MQB modular platform of Volkswagen Group, which is used for vehicles including Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf as has been widely reported. Nevertheless, the Czech automaker is expected to borrow heavily from the VW product catalogue when it comes to infotainment systems and engines.
The engine choices will likely mirror those seen in the upgraded Volkswagen Polo, including a range of 3-cylinders in addition to the existing 4-cylinder 1.2 liter turbocharged, which is now available in two states of tune (66kW/160Nm and 81kW/175Nm instead of existing 77kW/175Nm) in that model range. Michael Irmer, Skoda Australia Director said: “The new Fabia – which is expected to see a significant design change with styling similar elements identical to Octavia – is due to arrive in Australia in the second half of next year, with both the wagon and hatchback models set to be retained.
“There will be a wagon derivative of the new model. It is one of the only cars in this market space, which has a wagon body and it proved to be quite popular.” “The Fabia was bolstered by the RS version locally with the wagon in particular seeing a decent proportion of sales.” “There has been quite a high proportion of the RS in the market. It’s really a unique offering in the market, he added.”
Nonetheless, Irmer confirmed reports from late 2013 that there will be no replacement for the RS hot hatchback and wagon models, though suggested the lack of RS variant would not damage the brand’s image. It will have an impact, but it won’t be significant, Irmer said. He instead suggested the brand would focus on its Monte Carlo models that are propelled by standard powerplants but feature sporty styling. We sell very well off the Monte Carlo version in the Fabia range, and that is going to continue.
It is expected that the automaker will also offer the next-gen Fabia with a sedan body style, though Irmer suggested any such version wouldn’t be considered locally because of Australian shoppers’ preference towards hatchbacks. Indeed, city-sized saloons like Nissan Almera struggle to sell in significant numbers – that model, for instance, managed six sales in April this year, down from 176 units in the same month last year.
Even, if there was a sedan, it is not something we would consider for the Australian market. It is something of a niche model, he said. Skoda repositioned the Fabia range just a few months ago, with the Czech city hatch starting from $15,990. Nevertheless, the brand is struggling to sell the 5-door wagon and hatch models, with sales down 28% year-to-date.