06 March 2008

Geneva show: Skoda Fabia

Next generation of TG Survey favourite debuts in Geneva

Skoda Fabia

After its resounding victory in our 2006 Survey, Skoda's got quite a reputation to maintain. And the Czech manufacturer is staking a good chunk of that reputation on this: the new Fabia.

Slightly bigger than the outgoing model, the new Fabia is sticking resolutely with the tried-and-tested three-door guise.

It'll be available with a choice of seven engines - four petrols and three diesels. We expect that the entry-level 1.2-litre might still struggle on power, but a new 1.6-litre 16v petrol option with 105bhp sounds much more promising, as does the familiar 1.9 turbo diesel.

It's possible that these top-of-the-range engines will be available with the option of a six-speed Tiptronic transmission.

There's good news for hot hatch enthusiasts too, as rumour has it that the new vRS will get a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 170bhp, rather than the gruff diesel of the outgoing model.

Obviously demonstrating the Fabia's versatility, Skoda also wheeled out a hardcore-looking Fabia S2000 rally car and Mini-inspired white-roofed special edition.

We're especially enamoured with the rally version, even if it does look like that roof - replete with air intake and spoiler - has been stuck on as a hasty afterthought.

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