Skoda’s city car (2012) – the Czechs’ VW Up

Published: 13 May 2011

Skoda will launch a new city car to slot below the Fabia in 2012. The new baby Skoda will be based on the Up being developed by parent company Volkswagen.

It’s all part of the VW-Seat-Skoda New Small Family project to launch a new small car for global sale. Our artist’s impression depicts how the new Skoda city car is expected to look.

Skoda city car: the lowdown

Skoda plans to make its small hatchback quite distinct from the VW Up and a planned Seat city car. Design director Jozef Kaban promised there would be more differentiation than visible on the Peugeot 107/Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo trio and revealed the VW group babies would not just sport different ‘soft’ panels (bumpers and plastic mouldings) but with metalwork changes too.

The new VW group city car architecture is resolutely conventional, mixing front-wheel drive with a front-mounted engine. Initial concepts suggested the company was planning a rear-engined, rear drive package like the Smart Fortwo but that idea went south on packaging and cost grounds.

What engines will Skoda offer in its new city car?

CAR understands there will be a choice of 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrol and diesel three- and four-cylinder engines.

It’s all part of a plan to reinvigorate Skoda sales. The Czechs are planning a new model every six months to stimulate its model portfolio.

And the styling?

The new Skoda small car will look similar to the Vision D concept car unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show for inspiration. Kaban promises crisper lines and a lack of OTT styling details in future models, as shown in the conservative hatch in our image above.

‘Skodas will not be cars which try too hard to impress with ornamentation,’ said Kaban. ‘Some of our rivals add on features and don’t know when to stop, like a Christmas tree.’

He said the emphasis would be on functionality, simple, understated lines. Kaban pledged future Skoda will have ‘simple volumes’ and told CAR the ‘C’ graphic in rear light clusters would continue too.

Don’t miss our full dossier on Skoda’s expansion plans in the new June 2011 issue of CAR Magazine out on 18 May.