Limited sales mean the end of the hot Skoda Fabia vRS, leaving just one high-performance model - and there's no plans for a sports car
Richard Webber
13 September 2013

The Skoda Octavia vRS will become the only Skoda to carry the vRS performance badge when the new Fabia drops its hot variant, following the arrival of next year's new-generation car.

Additional models will get the aesthetics-only Monte Carlo pack that's currently exclusive to the Skoda Fabia hatch and estate.

Dr Frank Welsch, Skoda board member for technical development, made the revelation at the Frankfurt motor show. "A lot of people think the Fabia vRS is a great car, but we cannot work on cars that everyone likes but only a few people buy.

"But people don't only like the Fabia vRS's 178bhp engine - they also like the sporty look: a sporty interior and sporty exterior. We have had good success with our Monte Carlo Fabias. They have a special, elegant and sporty look."

Skoda's existing Fabia Monte Carlo package consists of gloss black exterior touches including the roof, door mirror surrounds and wheel arch mouldings, smoked headlights and black 17in alloys. Only available with certain drivetrains at present, it costs £1145 more than the SE trim on which it is based for the Skoda Fabia estate, or £1520 for the hatch.

The trim level could join the more overt Sport trim on the Citigo city car, and the Rapid is likely to benefit from both of those trim levels, too. The facelifted Yeti is also expected to add the Monte Carlo pack, but not for the more rugged new Outdoor variant.

Meanwhile, Skoda design chief Jozef Kaban doused any hopes for a Skoda sports car, citing discrepancies between any such model and the brand's direction.

Our Verdict

Skoda Octavia vRS

We test the all-new version of Skoda's Octavia vRS, which combines Golf GTI performance with practicality and a reasonable price tag

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Comments
25

13 September 2013

Having a proper gearbox as an option may have helped sales

13 September 2013
brian245 wrote:

Having a proper gearbox as an option may have helped sales

I thought exactly the same thing. The first one was such a success because it was different, it offered a good diesel engine in a small, sporty hatch. This version is the same as the Polo GTI and Ibiza Curpa thing. Why buy the least attractive looking version of the same car?

This market is obviously growing, notice the new Fiesta ST, RS Clio and 208 GTI. If Skoda offered something special rather than a VW clone it would have a chance.

13 September 2013
paul896 wrote:
brian245 wrote:

Having a proper gearbox as an option may have helped sales

I thought exactly the same thing. The first one was such a success because it was different, it offered a good diesel engine in a small, sporty hatch. This version is the same as the Polo GTI and Ibiza Curpa thing. Why buy the least attractive looking version of the same car?

This market is obviously growing, notice the new Fiesta ST, RS Clio and 208 GTI. If Skoda offered something special rather than a VW clone it would have a chance.

A 6 speed manual and the 2.0 TDI 140 would have kept Skoda's bank balance healthy. Though not much would have helped the styling - the basic shape of the car is too bulbous. A real shame because the first version was so well judged.

13 September 2013
Autocar wrote:

Skoda cites limited sales of the Fabia vRS as the primary reason for its demise

Well...duh! And the reason for the limited sales..? They strayed too far from the successful formula of the original car.


A34

13 September 2013
bomb wrote:

...the reason for the limited sales..? They strayed too far from the successful formula of the original car.

Presumably the 1.4 twincharger was the biggest lump they could fit in the latest platform. Otherwise a nice 1.8 or 2.0 TSi would have done the speed crowd fine (or the 2.0 TDi). And yes, enthusiasts tend to like the gear swapping done by hand, not by computer...

13 September 2013

I amazes me that after the octavia being such a success that they dont offer the fabia with a petrol and diesel option and a manual and DSG like they do with the octavia! Its not as if they would have to reengineer a whole new car. Surely this is a simple thing to do to maximise sales?

13 September 2013

I think the way it looked was its biggest problem, with its rather tall, upright and slab sided styling. The vRS add ons did little to make it look any better.

13 September 2013
Lanehogger wrote:

I think the way it looked was its biggest problem, with its rather tall, upright and slab sided styling. The vRS add ons did little to make it look any better.

The way Fabia looks I won't touch it with a barge pole.
For those who can look past its slab-sided looks, the auto-box surely kills the case.
Good move, Skoda. And please don't even think of making sport cars. Imagine!
Stick with elderly estates that look 10 years old when new. That's what your're best at.

13 September 2013

Yep, agreed, it's the gearbox!

I've driven the Polo GTI (essentially the same car) and the engine has superb performance, didn't feel far off a Golf GTI to be honest...but the gearbox let the side down.

It performs well, it's quick changing and smooth....but most 'enthusiasts' would much rather have a manual for fun driving!

I'm sure Renault will have poor sales of the new Clio RS 200 for the same reason.

13 September 2013

1st car - Diesel Manual - success
2nd car - Petrol semi-auto - not so

it's not that there's not a market just not a market for what they offered.

That said the 2nd gen vRS was slow to market because apparently the only place that bought the first one was the UK.

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