The next Skoda Fabia vRS will have a turbocharged petrol engine, not a diesel.
The Czech hot hatch, which Skoda chairman Reinhard Jung predicted would arrive “within two years”, will use the group’s 1.4-litre TSI unit.
“We have the opportunity to bring it up to 174 horsepower but we have not decided the final output,” said Jung.
There had been concern that the change of fuel might compromise the appeal of the car, compared with its fast but frugal 50mpg-plus diesel-powered predecessor, but a Skoda insider said: “With UK diesel prices climbing it could be a timely move. It takes ever higher mileages to recoup the cost of a diesel model plus the high pump prices.”
The new model should exploit the Fabia’s return to world rallying in the S2000 division. In 2006 the vRS accounted for 18% of UK Fabia hatchback sales.