Next-Gen Skoda Fabia Spotted Almost Undisguised

Earlier this year, the Czech Republic automaker announced the 3rd generation of simply clever small hatchback, the Skoda Fabia, would officially be unveiled this year. A number of executives have talked about the Fabia 3, giving us an abundance of details in the run-up to the first spotting of prototypes, which took place about a week ago. Guess what, the camouflage has been taken off those cars, revealing no less than four different but almost fully revealed models.

The Skoda Fabia’s design is quite similar to Rapid. A quite simple and large grille design is flanked by big headlamps. They are in fact much bigger unlike the photos would let you believe, since camouflage is obstructing the lower part. Meanwhile, the wing mirrors look nearly similar to those of a Volkswagen Polo, so do the door handles. Drum brakes are still used as they are cheaper to make and service. At the rear, large stickers obstruct the taillamps. We don’t, for a second believe, they will be using a 2-part system like camo would lead you to believe, as it’s an unnecessary and costly solution.

Next-Gen Skoda Fabia Spotted Almost Undisguised

Instead of using the new MQB platform, the automaker has decided to stick with the old architecture and make a new body. This is, again due to cost reasons. While the Octavia, Leon and Golf were designed and engineered at the same time, the Ibiza precedes its sisters by around two years. Most of the powerplants for Fabia will be carryovers from other VW Group cars. Base models will be propelled by the same 1.0 liter engine with 60 or 75HP, followed by upgraded TSI 1.2 units. The only diesel option is likely to be a 3-cylinder 1.4 liter, which Volkswagen Group has engineered to replace both 1.2TDI and 1.6 TDIs.

Speaking of carryovers, we have to talk about the colors which will help sell this new supermini. We are looking at Denim Blue Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Rio Red Metallic and Rally Green Metallic, all existing shaded. The green car features a black grille and trim, but isn’t actually a rally-inspired Fabia vRS. That model has been dropped from the model range because of slow sales.

Skoda has already confirmed that the vRS model will not make an appearance in the next-gen Fabia, because the current car has not been a commercial success.

Skoda planning to remove Fabia from Indian market

Skoda is all geared up to pull out Fabia from the Indian market. Fabia was the only hatchback offered by the company in India. However, Skoda is yet to finish the assembling to the Fabia and clear the inventory. So, it is expected that Fabia will remain on sale until its stocks are exhausted which may be by the end of this year.

Skoda’s decision to stop Fabia comes in lure of the huge loss company has been witnessing over Fabia. Regular price cuts over the year on Fabia have forced company to cut its price almost by 40 percent of its original price in 2008. This price reduction has badly affected the margin on the vehicle. Fabia with very little local component was quite costly to produce and the problem was amplified with the declination of the value of Indian rupee by 36 percent since 2008, which uplifted the cost. According to the sources company was losing as much as about Rs. 1.5 lakh per car, which restricted the company from taking any aggressive marketing strategy for Fabia. Fabia was sold only 3,343 units in the fiscal year 2012-13. Last month Skoda sold only 115 units. Earlier this year Honda too refrain Jazz from production as it was becoming too costly to produce and the sales were not adequate.

Skoda planning to remove Fabia from Indian market
Skoda is likely to re-launch Fabia before the end of 2015 but company has not made it clear if the new vehicle will be the modified version of the existing one or it will be an all new Fabia that is also due for an international launch for next year. However, in lure of the low demand of the Fabia in Indian market all the plans for re-launching of Fabia in Indian market has been put on hold for sometime.

The decision to discontinue the loss recurring Fabia will now help Skoda to focus mainly on the current product and the launch of new products in Indian market. Skoda is riding with high hopes on its new Octavia that company believes will become the segment leader once it is released in August this year. According to one of the company officials Skoda will now concentrate its resources on brand building and network expansion rather than on loss making Fabia.

New Skoda Fabia

Skoda Auto India have been on an upswing since the launch of the Skoda Laura TSI and the Skoda Yeti. They have many things in mind and one was bringing the Skoda Laura RS as well as Skoda Fabia RS to India. The former seems a bit too much for the Indian market as of now since the Skoda Laura TSI does the expected job. The latter is which Skoda Auto India have been concentrating on. It was high time that the premium hatch back got a refresh since its launch in 2007. High prices as well as concept of a premium hatch back didn’t go down well with the car buying public and they ignored it for the most part. It’s a different story that other hatch backs followed the premium route however were priced much lower and hence sold well, exception is the case of the Honda Jazz, which was priced even higher than some of the entry level luxury sedans. This is just the review of the new Skoda Fabia across its range.

The new Skoda Fabia might not look so new however there are certain design elements which have been modified. The head lamps are new and are now peeled back. The grille has been placed lower down the bonnet now. The front bumper itself has got a more rounded design. The new fog lamps are wider and bigger than the previous small units. The mirrors are now housed in part body color and part black. The alloy wheel design is the same as the old car however they now have chunkier tyres. The rear is the one part which disappoints as the new Skoda Fabia continues with the old one’s derriere. There is a 16V badge on the 1.6 liter engined Skoda Fabia. Overall, the Skoda Fabia’s design now seems more mature and grown up.

The interiors have been also given a slight refresh. The first thing you notice is that the steering wheel is a new 4 spoke affair unit for the Skoda Fabia. However on closer inspection, you would understand that it is the same unit from the Skoda Laura and the Skoda Yeti. It however does miss out on steering mounted audio controls. The dashboard is still made of sturdy but soft to touch materials. The plastic quality is the best in this segment and one which is expected from Skoda Auto India over the years.. The black and beige theme is used for the upholstery.

The front seats adjust for even height on the lower variants. There are many cubby holes all around and even for the rear passengers. The rear seat is also comfy to seat 3 people in comfort and even rivals some sedans in rear leg room. Having a small exterior dimension doesn’t mean that the interiors are cramped and this is amply demonstrated in the new Skoda Fabia. You can expect the interiors to be as premium as in other highly priced Skodas. The rear seats split 60:40 and enhance the already capacious boot space from 315 liters to a huge 1180 liters with the rear seats down.

Most of the change is under the hood for the new Skoda Fabia. There are three engine options. Two petrol and one diesel. All the engines are borrowed from parent concern Volkswagen India. There is a 1198cc, DOHC, MPI, In line 3 cylinder engine which puts out 75 Bhp @ 5400 rpm and 110 Nm of peak torque @ 3750 rpm. The next is the more powerful 1.6 litre, MPI, 4 cylinder, DOHC engine which pumps out 105 Bhp @ 2550 rpm and a maximum torque of 153 Nm @ 3800 rpm. The third is the 1.2 liter TDI common rail engine which is a DOHC and liquid cooled unit which gives 75 bhp @ 4200 rpm and pumps out a peak torque value of 180 Nm @ 2000 rpm. All the variants sport a 5 speed manual synchronized gear box which is a smooth shifting unit as on the previous car. It has short throws and is helps in sporty driving.

There are many safety features added on to the new Skoda Fabia and those are even driver airbags for the lower variants, 2 airbags in higher variants, ABS, Engine Braking Control {EBC} and Motor Speed Regulation (MSR) are standard. There are also three point ELR seat-belts as well as anti whiplash head restraints.

The ride and handling of the new Skoda Fabia is similar to the old one and this means that it handles all the road undulations perfectly and doesn’t transmit anything inside the cabin. The new Skoda Fabia also handles quite well, along with the well weighed steering wheel and has the potential to become the next hot hatch in India.

There are three variants for the 1.2 liter diesel and those are the Skoda Fabia 1.2L Diesel Classic, Skoda Fabia 1.2L Diesel Ambiente and Skoda Fabia 1.2L Diesel Elegance. The 1.2 liter petrol variant also has three variants and they are named as Skoda Fabia 1.2 MPI Classic, Skoda Fabia 1.2 MPI Ambiente Petrol and the Skoda Fabia 1.2 MPI Elegance. The 1.6 liter petrol is available only in the top of the line Elegance trim.

As far as fuel efficiency goes, the 1.2 liter diesel engine returns an ARAI claimed 14 kmpl in the city and 19.3 kmpl on the highway. The 1.2 liter petrol gives similar figures as the Volkswagen Polo 1.2L petrol. The 1.6 liter petrol engine is the same one from the Volkswagen Vento and gives 10 kmpl in the city and 15.8 kmpl on the highway.

Now comes the icing on the cake. The Achilles heel for the Skoda Fabia was always its price. This has gone down now and the new Skoda Fabia is a true value for money proposition. The fully loaded 1.6 L Skoda Fabia is priced at Rs 5.86 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This is Rs.80,000 less than the old car. The 1.2 liter petrol base variant starts from 4.25 lakhs to 5.32 lakhs for the top of the line 1.2L diesel(ex-showroom, Delhi).

Technical Specifications of the Skoda Fabia 1.2L petrol

Engine Type: 1.2L 70bhp MPFI DOHC 3 cylinder
Maximum Power: 70 bhp at 5200 rpm
Maximum Torque: 108 Nm at 30100 rpm
Compression Ratio: 9.4:1
Transmission Type: 5 Speed Manual Transmission
Drive Type: Two Wheel Drive
Rear Suspension: Compound link crank-axle
Front Suspension: McPherson suspension with lower triangular links & torsion stabiliser
Steering Type: Hydraulic Power Assisted Rack & Pinion with Tilt & Telescopic function
Front Brake Type: Ventilated Disc with ABS, EBD and ESP
Rear Brake Type: Solid Disc with ABS, EBD and ESP
Top Speed: 161 kmph
Acceleration (0-100 kmph): 14.85 seconds
Mileage-City (kmpl): 13.8
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 17.6
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 47
Emission Norm Compliance: Bharat Stage IV
Tyre Size: 185/60 R 14
Tyre Type: Tubeless Radial alloys
Cargo Volume: 315 litres
Seating Capacity: 5

Technical Specifications of the Skoda Fabia 1.2L diesel

Engine Type: 1.2L, DOHC , 3 Cylinder, TDI diesel engine with turbo charger
Maximum Power: 75 bhp at 4200 rpm
Maximum Torque: 180 Nm at 2000 rpm
Transmission Type: 5 Speed Manual Transmission
Drive Type: Two Wheel Drive
Rear Suspension: Compound link crank axle
Front Suspension: McPherson suspension with lower triangular links and torsion stabliser
Steering Type: Hydraulic Power Assisted Rack & Pinion with Tilt & Telescopic function
Front Brake Type: Ventilated Disc with ABS, EBD and ESP
Rear Brake Type: Solid Disc with ABS, EBD and ESP
Top Speed: 153 kmph
Acceleration (0-100 kmph): 15.7 Seconds
Mileage-City (kmpl): 15.8
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 19.3
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 48
Emission Norm Compliance: Bharat Stage IV
Tyre Size: 175/70 R 14 alloys
Tyre Type: Radial Tubeless Tyre
Cargo Volume: 315 litres
Seating Capacity: 5

New Skoda Fabia