Saturday, November 6, 2010

Skoda Fabia VRS Reviews

The DSG works with the TSI and XDS. Clever car, the latest Skoda Fabia VRS hot hatch.

The engine for this Scrabble board on wheels is a petrol fuelled 1.4-litre TSI and benefits from both a supercharger and a turbocharger, replacing the turbodiesel unit which helped the previous generation Skoda Fabia VRS gain something of a cult following for its blend of economy and performance. The stats certainly look promising: 180bhp, 184lb ft of torque, 0-62mph in 7.3sec and a 139mph top speed go hand-in-hand with 45.6mpg economy and a 148g/km CO2 figure. This is all channelled through the DSG seven-speed robotised manual gearbox, itself capable of working in full auto mode or via a pair of steering wheel mounted paddles. No traditional manual gearbox is offered.

The final important piece of technology as far as the "Skoda Fabia VRS "hot hatch aspirations are concerned is XDS, an electronic limited slip differential that attempts to mimic its mechanical cousin without the associated weight or cost, so that rather than the inside wheel spinning away power in low grip conditions, torque is transferred to the outside wheel and into forward motion.
The interesting thing here is that everything up to this point can apply equally to the Seat Ibiza Cupra, VW Polo GTI, VW Scirocco 1.4 TSI or even the soon to be launched Audi A1 1.4 TFSI. Such is the way with platform and technology sharing within the VW Group. It's not that the Skoda Fabia VRS is aurally unappealing, just lacking a bit of character.

Initial bite at the front end isn't best in class, but once locked on line a combination of mechanical grip and clever electronics allow some deeply impressive cornering speeds. So let's add one more acronym to that list, because given the prices of the other VW Group products that share its hardware the latest Skoda Fabia VRS represents excellent VFM.

This is the all-new Skoda Fabia VRS, the 140mph hot hatch inspired by the Skoda S2000 rally car competing around the globe. You will also be able to buy an equally rapid Skoda Fabia VRS estate.

Starting from £15,700, the Skoda Fabia VRS is cheaper than the Mini Cooper S, Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta S1600, but offers just as much speed and more standard equipment.
Powered by an award-winning 1.4-litre TSI engine, the Fabia vRS has both a supercharger and turbocharger, to give it low-down grunt and top-end power. It’s a radical departure from the 2003 Skoda Fabia VRS, which was a pioneering diesel hot hatch with 130bhp, a huge 236lb/ft of pulling power and a manual six-speed gearbox. The Skoda Fabia VRS features a system called XDS, which precisely brakes an inside front wheel if the car is being asked to corner too hard. Standard specification includes 17-inch alloy wheels, 3-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel with paddle shifts, eight stereo speakers, alarm, electric front windows, electric and heated door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, trip computer, iPod/MP3 player connection, sports seats, hill hold control, tyre pressure monitor and tinted rear windows. In Skoda’s latest green paintwork with a black roof and grey alloy wheels, the "Skoda Fabia VRS" is the boldest car Skoda sells.

Safety kit includes ABS, stability control, traction control, XDS, Isofix in the outer rear seats and driver, passenger and side curtain airbags.

The first Skoda Fabia VRS had the unique selling point of being a diesel hot hatch, putting it on the map.

We try Skodas new Fabia vRS hot hatch, with a turbo- and supercharged engine and DSG gearbox
The replacement for the original diesel-engined Skoda Fabia VRS, although this one is no oil-burner. Instead it’s fitted with a 1.4-litre turbo-charged and supercharged petrol unit, which delivers 178bhp and makes it the most powerful and fastest Fabia ever. The supercharger gets you up and running giving the small engine plenty of low-down punch. The Skoda Fabia VRS is also fitted with a seven-speed DSG gearbox as standard.

What’s it like to drive?
If you are coming from a Renaultsport background you will probably be a little disappointed, but if your starting point was a Citroen DS3 then you’d be quite pleased by the dynamics as the Skoda Fabia VRS falls neatly between the French pair.

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