ŠKODA has confirmed future rallying plans with the news that their highly successful Fabia S2000 will be succeeded by an all-new Fabia R5.
An intense development programme will begin at ŠKODA Motorsport’s Mlada Boleslav base in early 2014, ahead of a competition debut in 2015.
According to Michal Michal Hrabánek, ŠKODA Motorsport Director: “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. 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.”
The announcement follows another remarkable season for both ŠKODA Motorsport and the Fabia S2000. With overall victories in three international and six national championships, ŠKODA has enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in its 112-year motorsport history.
ŠKODA will continue to campaign the current Fabia S2000 in 2014 on selected rounds of both the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).
The Czech Republic’s current ERC Champions, Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler, will tackle the APRC, while rising Finnish star 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.