Skoda invited a handful of journalists to Austria to experience the new generation Fabia first-hand prior to its unveiling this spring.
The prototypes used in this hands-on experience wore reptile-inspired camo with an abstract pattern created by designer Daniel Petr, which does a good job at keeping the most important visual aspects hidden.
Exterior styling and dimensions
Still, we can see that the grille is a bit bigger and is flanked by slender headlamps with integrated LED DRLs. The lower air intake features active slats, like on the bigger Octavia. The new taillights, which partially protrude into the tailgate, look different than the ones used on the Scala compact hatchback, and the reflectors now sit further up. Completing the exterior makeover will be the new wheel designs.
“The basis of the idea was that we imagined the car being revealed gradually, like a snake shedding its skin”, Petr said. “It’s going to be a very good-looking compact car with a clean and modern design that will raise the Fabia to the next level.”
Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 platform, shared with its Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza “cousins”, Skoda’s all-new subcompact hatchback, which will be followed by the estate version probably next year, has a bigger overall footprint. It is 4,107 mm (161.7 in) long and 1,780 mm (70.1 in) wide, 110 and 48 mm (4.3-1.9 in) longer and wider than its predecessor, and the wheelbase has grown by 94 mm (3.7 in) to 2,564 mm (100.1 in) – identical to the Ibiza and 16 mm (0.6 in) longer than the Polo.
At 380 liters (13.4 cu-ft), the boot volume is also bigger, and despite these changes, the weight has only slightly gone up, Skoda notes, adding that the car has the smallest drag coefficient (0.28) in the subcompact segment.
The new interior has yet to be revealed, yet those who drove it said that it features a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a 6.8-inch standard touchscreen infotainment system that’s upgradable to 9.2 inches. Up to nine airbags, most of them offered from the base variant, are also included, and all passenger seats feature ISOFIX fittings and tether anchors for child seats.
The parking card holder and ice-scraper in the fuel tank cap are still present, and the new Fabia also has a USB-C connector in the rearview mirror to power dashboard cameras, and 12 (out of 43) ‘Simply Clever’ solutions, including a pouch beneath the luggage compartment shelf that supports up to 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs).
Another novelty is the introduction of the Travel Assist package, which brings semi-automated driving to the 2021 Fabia by using the data obtained from the camera in the rearview mirror with the Predictive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Emergency Assist and Predictive Cruise Control. Moreover, the new Fabia will also have an automated parking function.
Three engine options – and no diesel in sight
The fourth generation Fabia will be offered with a choice of three engines, with a 1.0-liter naturally aspirated three-cylinder making 65 PS (64 HP / 48 kW) and 80 PS (79 HP / 59 kW) coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox used in the base models.
A turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI, with 95 PS (94 HP / 70 kW) and 110 PS (109 HP / 81 kW) respectively, will be available for the mid-range grades, with the former paired to a five-speed manual and the latter coming with a standard six-speed manual or an optional seven-speed DSG transmission.
The most powerful 2021 Fabia will pack a 150 PS (147 HP / 110 kW) 1.5-liter TSI mated to a seven-speed DSG.