Skoda Fabia RS 1.4 Review
Fast clearing Czech

Story and Photos by Mark Yeo
29 Jul 2011
 

Polo GTI a little bit over your budget? We reckon the Skoda Fabia RS could be the alternative for you

Introduction, styling

Skoda’s RS range of hot models are rather different in character and execution when compared to the RS of other manufacurers like Ford RS, Audi RS and Porsche’s RS. In the case of the latter manufacturers, the RS name represents the epitome of performance but in the case of Skoda, its RS range of cars are somewhat performance models with the Q-factor.

Let me explain what I mean by performance cars with the Q-factor. The term Q car refers to subtle looking saloons and estates with high performance engines underneath that can run rings around sports cars so a car with a Q factor basically means a car that very much has a character of a Q car, but since the latter mostly refers to cars with saloon or estate body styles, a hatchback model like the Fabia RS here can’t be called a Q car but a hot hatchback with the Q factor, or a deceptive looking hot hatch so to speak. The Octavia VRS on the other hand can be called a Q car as it has performance potential under the ‘normal’ looking estate or saloon body.

 

The current Fabia RS is the second generation Skoda has launched. The first gen car was never offered here as it was unique among hot hatch models back then as the Fabia RS was powered solely by a TDI turbodiesel motor and we all do know by now why diesels have limited appeal over here. The second gen Fabia RS though, should have much wider appeal as it shares the same engine/gearbox combination as the recently launched Volkswagen Polo GTI, which means a fuel efficient but powerful twincharged 1.4-litre TSI lump and a DSG gearbox. Moreover, the hot Fabia has a strong image among motorsports fans worldwide as Skoda uses the Fabia as a base for its Super 2000 rally car.

As the Fabia’s platform is based on the old Polo’s instead of the current one, it is actually longer and taller than its Polo GTI cousin. On the outside, the base model Fabia looks like a mix of the first generation model and the Suzuki Swift. The Fabia looks especially like the latter from the sides where the black A-pillars, rising window line and C-pillar treatment ape the Japanese car’s. the rear is rather nondescript – one can potentially mistake it for a Japanese model.

True to its Q-factor, the hot Fabia RS (Skoda somehow dropped the V in the moniker like in the earlier hot Fabia and Octavia models’ badges) hardly has anything on its exterior that shouts ‘hot’ or ‘I am fast’. Yes, there are RS badges on the radiator grille and boot lid, the front and rear bumpers are slightly deeper, there are bigger 17-inch wheels, roof spoiler, chrome tailpipes and with the roof, wing mirrors, A- and B-pillars colour coded in black, but the hot Fabia hardly even look like a lukewarm hatch on the styling front. This in turn gives it that deceptive, Q-car look and feel that is so synonymous with the Octavia VRS models.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1390cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 179bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 2000rpm
Power to Weight 128.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 224 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.1 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed 7-speed DSG transmission
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4029 x 1642 x 1498) mm
Wheelbase 2465 mm
Kerb Weight 1393 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 45 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs