Skoda’s new Fabia R5 has been approved by the International Automobile Federation FIA.This means the rally car is now officially able to enter the contest rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and continue Skoda’s legacy in racing.
A 1.6-litre turbo engine will power the car – a change from the previous 2-litre induction engine.
It has taken Skoda 15 months to bring the vehicle in line with racing specs. Other improved features include a new four-wheel drive system with a five-speed sequential gearbox.
Several world class drivers were involved in the development of the Fabia R5 including the last two European Rally champions Jan t Kopecky and Esapekka Lappi, as well as previous ERC rally winners Freddy Loix and Raimund Baumschlager.
“We are delighted that the International Automobile Federation FIA has given us the green light. Now we can prove just how good our new rally car is in the race series,” explained Skoda’s board member for development Dr Frank Welsch.
“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 R5.”
In total, the rally car was subjected to around 10,000 km of testing in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Finland on various different surfaces.
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