New Fabia due soon

Skoda is looking to attract younger buyers with its all-new second-generation Fabia hatchback.

The car, which goes on sale in the UK on May 17, has borrowed some styling devices from the Mini, such as different-coloured roofs in white or silver, with matching door mirrors. Skoda is also hoping to capitalise on its rallying pedigree – a VRS version is in the pipeline, which will borrow styling cues from the S2000 rally-spec version on show at Geneva.

The average age of the Fabia owner is currently 56, and as a result the car’s design cannot be too radical. “We’re keen to reduce this but we don’t want to alienate existing buyers”, said Skoda GB’s Marc Mustard.

At launch, new Fabia will have a choice of 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines, together with three diesel options – two 1.4-litre units and a 1.9-litre oil-burner. But there will only be one body style – 5-door. Skoda has never made a 3-door hatch, and that’s unlikely to change. Fabia pricing should start a shade below £8000.

Fabia is expected to account for almost half of Skoda’s UK sales – Fabia and Octavia accounted for all but 2500 of the 38,000 cars sold by the Czech brand last year. By the end of the decade, Skoda hopes to grow this to around 58,000 cars a year, helped by the current Roomster and the Yeti, which is scheduled to go on sale in 2009.


>