14 Feb 08
Skoda has started testing the first prototype of its Super 2000 specification Fabia rally car, which could eventually compete in the Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC)
Based on the second-generation Fabia, the car is equipped with a two-litre normally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, a six-speed sequential transmission and a four-wheel drive system with three mechanical differentials.
Dr. Eckhard Scholz, the man responsible for Skoda’s technological development, said the date of the car’s first competitive outing hadn’t yet been decided: "This year we are planning to optimise and certify the vehicle so we can use it on both national and international levels. When exactly the vehicle will be released for competition use will depend on the achieved progress, relevant test results and the final certification.”
Scholtz said the car would eventually be made available to rally customers. “We are also planning to offer the vehicle to private teams,” said Scholtz. “Based on a customer service arrangement, further development work on the vehicle will be done in close cooperation with our importers worldwide".
Although Skoda has said nothing about a works team return to the WRC, it remains close to the sport. Martin Lauer, head of corporate communications said: "Skoda’s history of over hundred years of involvement in motorsport is unique, and we are proud to be able to continue the success story with the Fabia Super 2000. We believe that the vehicle will become a successful part of this tradition, because car racing is popular all over the world and offers great opportunities to promote our products".