The International Automobile Federation FIA has given ŠKODA’s new Fabia R 5 the green light to compete in global rally against the likes of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC and VW Polo R WRC.
Based on ŠKODA’s new production Fabia, the R 5 is the successor to the Fabia Super 2000, which went down in history as the most successful rally car in the history of ŠKODA Motorsport.
In compliance with FIA regulations, the R 5 is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, which is a considerable change from the two-litre induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000.
The new four-wheel drive car also features a five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight of the car is at least 1,230 kilograms, as stipulated in the regulations. Since the start of the project, ŠKODA says it has invested 15 months of development work to fine-tune the car for homologation.
“When working on the third-generation production Fabia, which enjoyed an extremely successful start, we incorporated some of the genes from our rally cars and developed the most emotive Fabia ever. Conversely, the production model now formed the basis for the new Fabia R 5,” said ŠKODA development boss, Dr. Frank Welsch
Drivers such as Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký, European champion Esapekka Lappi, Belgian driver “Fast” Freddy Loix and multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager are said to have provided input during the development of the rally car.
In the run up to the homologation, ŠKODA says about 10,000 kilometres of testing were completed on a range of roads and conditions, including in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Finland.
In last year’s rally season, ŠKODA completed a hat-trick of titles in the Drivers’ and Manufacturer championships in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), while the champion in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) was a ŠKODA works driver for the third time in a row. The list of success achieved last year also includes five national titles. With a total of almost 50 international and national titles in six years, the Fabia Super 2000, which made its first appearance in 2009, is the most successful project in the company’s 114-year motorsport history.