Petrol-electric Skoda Fabia vRS is part of a new generation of performance cars
Jim Holder
2 November 2017

The Volkswagen Group is preparing to launch a new generation of electrified fast hatches, including a reborn Skoda Fabia vRS, at the start of the next decade. 

Insiders say that the new generation of hybrid-powered hot hatches are viewed by the VW Group’s technical and marketing teams as a crucial bridge in the move towards full electrification. 

Winning over opinion-forming car enthusiasts with technology that highlights the advantages of electrification is said to be considered a central part of VW’s strategy to sell a million fully electric cars by 2025, by which time the firm says it will have 30 EVs on sale.

“We are not just flicking a switch and expecting people to move to fully electric cars – it is a process that will take decades, and we must help take people through the transition step by step by showing what the possibilities are,” said a source. 

It is expected that VW Group marques will use their existing performance lines to promote the technology, rather than create new sub-brands, with Cupra and vRS expected to be pushed particularly hard by Seat and Skoda respectively. 

Cupra is becoming a standalone performance arm next year, when the Ateca Cupra launches to complement the Leon Cupra, and the arrival of an electrified Skoda Fabia vRS could give the Czech-based manufacturer an opportunity to follow suit. 

“The Fabia vRS was a lot of fun and I would love to be able to offer such a car today, but it is not going to be manageable for the next two to three years,” said Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. 

“For the next generation of Fabia, there could be an alternative – we could look at the opportunities a bit differently.” Asked if this meant electrification, Maier replied: “That would make sense, yes.” As yet, there are no details on what combination of engine and electrification would be used. Skoda still sells the highly regarded Octavia vRS and the Czech-based manufacturer has a vRS version of the new Karoq SUV in development to complement the VW T-Roc R

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The new Fabia takes the old pragmatism upmarket and rocks the supermini segment in the process, eclipsing rivals that once had a tight grip on the market

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However, a smaller fast hatch is seen as crucial to underpinning the vRS brand’s offerings by anchoring the new strategy of using electrification for greater performance in the car for which it is most famous.

Related stories: 

Skoda Fabia review 

Skoda Octavia vRS 

Skoda Kodiaq review

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Comments
4

2 November 2017

So 30 cars in 7 years = 4'ish a year. So between now an 2025 VW will be releasing one EV every 3 months. Emmm

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

2 November 2017
Aslong as they have a meaty gasoline engine Im fine with that, that way we can keep having exciting sounding hot hatches.

Also good if they have a full EV mode for short around town commutes.

2 November 2017

...Toyota with hybrids

4 November 2017

So the question is what sort will VW be using. Will they be the (very) mild sort like Suzuki use - effectively just a starter/alternator capable of absorbing and delivering around 2kW of electric power mainly to benefit fuel consumption test cycles. Or the slighly more powerful mild hybrid like Honda's IMA system, which adds 10-15kW of electic energy to give a useful torque boost as well as a small fuel consumption gain in normal use. Or will VW go the whole hog and develop an expensive full hybrid system like Toyota and Hyundai, which is effectively a heavier dual engine solution capable of much bigger fuel gains, as well as the ability to travel on battery power alone for short distances?

Many people think all hybrids are the same (heavy and slow with CVT transmission), but they're all different and with different compromises.  

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