Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skoda Fabia vRS Is a Mid-Range Acceleration Flyer - with Economy an Attraction Too

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skoda Fabia vRS Is a Mid-Range Acceleration Flyer - with Economy an Attraction Too

Article excerpt

Byline: By Chris Russon

Only Skoda would develop a hot hatch, then put a diesel engine under the bonnet.

But this unlikely combination has worked and resulted in a version of the Fabia which is really fun to drive.

In terms of raw performance the use of a diesel has turned the hatchback heat up to a simmer rather than boiling point, but there are other attributes of the Fabia vRS which are guaranteed to produce a smile.

The engine is Volkswagen's 1.9 litre turbo diesel that is also used in the Golf GTi and it has plenty of mid-range guts.

Since VW acquired Skoda the benefits that have been passed down to the once-maligned Czech manufacturer have been enormous and this is a further example.

At pounds 11,990 the Fabia vRS is still in the bargain basement department for what it has to offer. Thanks to VW's PD high pressure diesel injection system, the engine develops 130bhp and it gives the Fabia vRS a reported top speed of 127mph and a 0 to 60mph time of 9.6 seconds.

On paper that, by anyone's standards, is not in the real hot hatch league. However, because of the torque characteristics of turbo diesels, it is in the mid-range acceleration band where this Skoda flies.

It has a six speed gearbox and even in sixth the vRS will sprint from 50 to 75mph in under 15 seconds. Further down the gears and the results are even more impressive and once you get this car wound up it really delivers the goods.

With uprated suspension and a body lowered by almost an inch compared to the standard Fabia, the vRS has handling to match and it is little wonder that Skoda is promoting this car as the road going version of its Fabia World Rally car.

Stopping power is provided by high performance disc brakes all round, their presence emphasised by huge green callipers that lurk behind 16-inch alloy wheels. …

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