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Geneva show: Skoda’s future Fabia

Hatch hatched: The Skoda Fabia is on the radar for Australia with the release of the facelift at Geneva.

Facelifted Fabia emerges as potential volume-seller for Skoda in Australia

25 Feb 2010

HERE is the facelifted Fabia that Skoda Australia has been waiting for.

The midlife makeover for the smallest model in the Volkswagen-owned Czech brand’s range will make its global premiere at the Geneva motor show on March 2 and could go on sale in Australia by 2011.

The upgraded Fabia hatch and wagon range, including an RS-badged hot-hatch derivative that should also appear at Geneva, is yet to be confirmed for release Down Under.

However, it will be the subject of discussions at Geneva between Skoda Group Australia chief Matthew Wiesner and head office officials, who will also hold fresh talks about the Yeti compact SUV – the next new Skoda model expected to arrive here.

“Currently we are working on Yeti and we hope to be able to announce something on that soon,” said SGA spokesman Karl Gehling.

29 center imageLeft: Roomster and Yeti.

“As our next priority, we will then focus our attention on Fabia. We’re very interested in bringing the facelifted Fabia – it’s what we’ve been waiting for – but the first priority is Yeti, which we would like to have here in the fourth quarter of this year.”

Mr Gehling said no business case had yet been locked in for an Australian Fabia release, which is dependent on prices that undercut the VW Polo upon which it is based, and could still take the form of a ‘top-down’ launch rollout that starts only with the top-shelf RS variant.

The new Fabia RS will be closely related to the 132kW/249Nm 1.4 TSI-engined Polo GTI that goes on sale here in late 2010 after its debut at Geneva, where a third model based on Volkswagen’s light-car platform will also make its global premiere – the all-new Audi A1.

Geneva will also host the reveal of a facelifted version of the Roomster, which attracted just 64 customers for Skoda Australia during the whole of 2009 (down from 111 in 2008) and could soon be eliminated from the range.

“The facelifted Roomster is not a high priority vehicle for us at the moment,” said Mr Gehling. “Obviously it’s a very low volume vehicle. We are reviewing it at moment.”

Due on sale here in May, the wagon derivative of the new Superb flagship that went on sale here last year will be the next new model for Skoda Australia, which recorded an extraordinary 53 per cent sales spike in 2009, thanks to increased sales of the facelifted Octavia (up 45 per cent) and Octavia Scout (up 150 per cent).

Both the upgraded Roomster and Fabia hatch and wagon ranges come with a new engine line-up and exterior cosmetic changes, the latter comprising a new-look front-end for all three models, plus the revised Fabia Scout.

The fresh Euro 5 emissions-compliant engines range between 45kW and 78kW in the Fabia and between 52kW and 78kW in the Roomster.

Borrowed from Volkswagen’s latest Polo, which goes on sale here in May, VW’s new 1.2-litre petrol engine will be available in four guises in the Fabia, including 45kW six-valve, 52kW 12-valve, 63kW 1.2 TSI and 78kW 1.2 TSI versions, while 67kW and 78kW 1.6-litre TDI turbo-diesel engines will also be available in Europe.

All but the six-valve 1.2 will be available in the updated Roomster.

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