Skoda's running flat out developing the new Fabia, as these spy shots reveal.
Caught testing outside Skoda's factory at Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic, this lightly disguised car is clearly not far from production-ready.
Up front, the car's headlights and black A-pillars mimic those of the Roomster MPV. The rear's less adventurous, but it's clear that Skoda wants the design of this crucial model to appeal to a younger market than before. The roofline, with a curved front, is reminiscent of the Suzuki Swift's brow.
The new Fabia is due to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next spring, before going on sale later in the year.
Despite an expanding product line-up – including the possibility of a sub-Fabia MPV, hinted at in the Joyster concept car shown at this year's Paris motor show – the Fabia is crucial to Skoda. Along with the original Octavia, it helped turn the Czech firm from laughing stock to blue-chip stock.