Skoda plans to reintroduce the Fabia vRS hot hatch in 2010 – and this prototype appears to be the warmed-over mini out on test. We're expecting the go-faster Fabia next year, possibly at the Geneva motor show in March 2010.
Close analysis of these spy photos reveals a new front spoiler lurking under the disguise; the aero aids are noticeably honed and the air intakes much bigger. All the better for ramming air into the turbocharged engine.
Skoda Fabia vRS (2010): the engine bay
Will the new Fabia vRS sport a turbodiesel like the last one? We're not clear yet. But sticking a derv in a hot hatch's engine bay does limit its appeal to many enthusiasts.
We'd expect the new vRS to offer a petrol option this time. The VW Group has a variety of downsized unleaded munchers – CAR understands the warmed-up Ibiza Cupra and Polo GTI will be powered by a twincharged 1.4-litre with around 170bhp.
It seems logical to assume the Fabia vRS will have similar firepower. The four-cylinder engine comes in either turbocharged or turbo- and supercharged forms and would be perfect for providing thrills in a front-drive supermini package. Skoda isn't restricted from the group's more powerful motors and the Octavia vRS is still available in petrol and diesel form.
What else do we know about the Fabia vRS?
Not much at this stage. The 1.4 engine is available with the seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox, which would be available on the Skoda. And depending on the brand guardians' strategy, they could even delve into the VW parts bin and nab the clever new XDS differential.
Expect further visual tweaks on the production car. The front bib and the size of the brake discs point to this being the Fabia vRS on test, but the finished production cars will have a bodykit and natty alloy wheels.
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