New rally car the Skoda Fabia you really want

Latest Fabia RS Rally2 likely to continue winning on Sunday. Shame Skoda is still failing to sell on Monday 

By PH Staff / Tuesday, 14 June 2022 / Loading comments

Because Skoda has failed to emulate Toyota and derive a wild homologation special from the Fabia, it is shamefully easy to forget that the firm actually produces a rally car which is very much like its modest road-going supermini. But there’s nothing modest about the Fabia’s success in motorsport. Not just because it has won twelve world titles, but because Skoda Motorsport has built and sold more than 450 examples, which have gone onto claim 1,700 outright victories. 

Those are staggering numbers, and across all variants it places the Fabia among the most successful rally cars ever to turn a wheel. So the introduction of a new version is no small thing for Skoda, even if we can’t rush down to a dealership and buy something that closely resembles it. Regardless, the new car is based on the fourth-gen Fabia, albeit with the sort of arches, wings and aero that instinctively makes the PH office bite the back of its hand. 

Apparently you get double the downforce of its predecessor, which is a good thing when you consider that Skoda has sunk a new engine in the Fabia RS Rally2; namely a 1.6-litre version of the long-running EA888 motor that powers virtually every VW Group hot hatch you can think of. Mated to a five-speed sequential ‘box, Skoda says it produces around 289hp and 317lb ft of torque in the Fabia, which finds its way to the road via mechanical diffs front and back (the regulations prohibit electronic driving aids). And if four-wheel drive weren’t sufficient to make the acceleration brutal, the Fabia is geared short – i.e. it won’t make beyond 124mph, but probably will leave a mark on your neck. 

It definitely leaves a mark on the eyeballs. No arguments here, please: the Fabia RS Rally2 looks the business. Naturally there is much more technical detail to unpack if you’re so inclined – the new roll cage consists of 35.8m of steel tubing; there is a different brake cooling system for gravel or tarmac events; the model’s longer wheelbase has prompted an overhaul of the chassis; yes, that is the same Hyper Green paintwork you can get on an Octavia vRS – but the only question you should really be asking is “when will Skoda build me a 300hp AWD Fabia I can drive to the shops?” Inexplicably, the answer appears to be ‘never’. Shame. 

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