Rallying glamour for Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Skoda references its rallying success with latest special edition, but performance fans may be left wanting

Skoda has introduced a new special edition in the Fabia range, giving a nod to the company’s long history of rallying success with the Monte Carlo nameplate.

Even before the Volkswagen Group era, Skoda had forged its own reputation on the world’s rally stages.

Many remember the firm’s dabble in WRC with the Octavia and later Fabia, but before that Skoda was competitive in F2 with its Felicia Kit Car, and further back with the Favorit, and 130RS.

Today, Skoda Motorsport competes in the WRC’s R5 class. The rally car is based – albeit loosely – on the current Skoda Fabia.

Unfortunately, the Fabia Monte Carlo doesn’t get a 2-litre engine with a six-speed sequential gearbox. Instead, it’s sold with a range of sensible three- and four-cylinder engines that prioritise refinement and economy.

They start with a 1.0-litre, 75PS petrol for £14,645, but the top-end 110 PS 1.2 TSI and 105PS 1.4 TDI are likely to prove more pleasant on the road. Quickest is the £15,925 TSI, which dashes to 60mph in 9.4 seconds (whether you opt for the manual or dual-clutch DSG transmission). In estate form, that figure creeps up by two tenths.

Unfortunately, there’s no Fabia vRS on the horizon – so that’s the hottest a Fabia is likely to get in the short term.

The tradeoff is economy, which barely drops below 60mpg across the range, but diesels are the thriftiest, at up to 78.6mpg in 90PS TDI form.

Monte Carlo models build on SE specification, and include 16-inch Italia black alloy wheels, with a matching black radiator grille and door mirror caps. There’s also a body-colour rear spoiler, front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, a panoramic glass sunroof and of course, Monte Carlo badging.

Inside, the Monte Carlo theme extends to badging, metal-finished pedals, striking black, grey and red sports seats, and a red centre console. There’s also a sports steering wheel, while standard kit includes a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, DAB, Bluetooth and an iPhone-compatible SmartLink setup.

Order books are already open, with first deliveries set to begin in September.

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