The new Skoda Fabia is expected to be revealed to the public this Autumn, according to the brand's 2013 annual report.
The new Fabia will not be based on VW’s MQB platform as previously reported, but will use the fuel-efficient engines and infotainment systems from the VW’s range.
Skoda has plans to increase sales worldwide to at least 1.5 million models along with introducing or updating current models every six months.
The all-new Skoda Fabia is still more than 12 months away, but it’s already hit the road – disguised as a current VW Polo. And we’ve used insider information to produce exclusive images of how the showroom supermini could look (above).
Although it was popular in the UK, Skoda struggled to sell many vRS Fabias in the rest of Europe so the sporty flagship is likely to be dropped for the new generation - but the head of development for Skoda, Dr Frank Welsch, hasn’t ruled it out completely.
“Of course if there is very strong demand in some markets we will be quick to make it happen, as engineers we love to build cars like this,” he said.
Welsch explains the reason behind the decision: "The truth is people love the vRS, but they don’t buy it – compared to the price of a normal Fabia it’s too much." Optional extras such as alloy wheels and styling packs like the Monte Carlo are very popular, Welsch continues, suggesting that this is the direction Skoda will be focusing on in the future.
Dr Welsch explained: “We’ve been planning the Fabia alongside the Rapid and Octavia, so it will not change too much in terms of size. “It will get a totally new design, with optimised proportions, so it will be slightly wider and lower and more attractive, but it will stay a very compact car.”
Skoda’s latest design language – established by the Vision D at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show – is minimalist and conservative, as seen on the new Octavia and Rapid. However Chief Designer Jozef Kaban told Auto Express on a recent event that the new Fabia will be the most extrovert model yet, with a wide front grille, angular headlights and LED tail-lamps.
However, it’s set to retain a version of the current model’s chunky, upswept C-pillar, and Skoda is likely to offer contrasting colours for the roof, wheels and door mirror caps following the huge popularity of its Monte Carlo special editions.
Kaban also suggested that the whole brand was excited to make a car that could be a recognisable part of the range but also more expressive than sensible family cars like the Rapid Spaceback and Octavia.
A test car was spotted that was packed with weights to give the drivetrain and brakes a real workout. The current Fabia, launched in 2007, was the first of the latest generation of VW Group superminis to go on sale, so it makes sense that it would be the first to be replaced.
When the new version lands in showrooms, it’ll probably cost slightly more than the current Fabia, which starts at £9,945.