Skoda has announced that the Fabia S2000 will be succeeded by an all-new model, the Fabia R5. A development programme will soon commence at Skoda Motorsport’s Mlada Boleslav base in early 2014, ahead of a competition debut in 2015.
Confirming the Fabia R5 programme, Michal Michal Hrabánek, Škoda Motorsport Director, said: “The new R5 rally car will be equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, in accordance with FIA regulations. That’s a big change compared to today’s naturally-aspirated, two-litre petrol engines. The R5 category succeeds the previous Super 2000 class. This way, we are able to continue to compete successfully in international championships and to push ahead with our customer programme. Entering the R5 class is a logical step for ŠKODA. As it stands, we are assuming that the new car will be homologated by mid-2015.”
Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Škoda added: “Through the many international successes it has enjoyed, the current Fabia Super 2000 has been demonstrating our technical prowess for years. The challenge is now to follow on from this success. That is why we are working flat out to develop a new car, based on the ŠKODA Fabia, for the R5 category.”
In addition to developing the Fabia R5, Škoda will continue to campaign the current Fabia S2000 in 2014. The brand will enter cars on selected rounds of both the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). Current ERC Champions Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler will tackle the APRC, while Esapekka Lappi will line up in the ERC with co-driver Janne Ferm. In addition, the German pairing of Sepp Wiegand/Frank Christian (ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland), will also contest rounds of the ERC in a factory-prepared Fabia S2000.