The development of ŠKODA’s eagerly awaited new rally car is going to plan. Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopecký (CZ) and European champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) put the Fabia R 5 through its paces on a wide range of surfaces and weather conditions during a series of comprehensive tests last week.
As the successor to the successful Fabia Super 2000, the R 5 is charged with writing the next chapter in the company’s 114-year motorsport success story. “We tested the new Fabia R 5 on asphalt and recently on gravel. The new car feels very good on all the surfaces. We are definitely on the right track,” said a happy Kopecký.
The experienced 33-year-old took turns with Esapekka Lappi in Italy at the end of January. Finland’s European champion was also impressed with his outings in ŠKODA’s new rally car, which was still sporting its camouflaged ‘zebra’ look: “I think the Fabia R 5 will continue the success story of ŠKODA in motorsport.”
The tests with the Fabia R 5 will continue throughout Europe in the next weeks. Veteran rally driver Freddy Loix (B) and Austria’s multiple champion Raimund Baumschlager are also among the team of drivers giving important input throughout the development of the new car. Customer rally teams are not the only ones showing huge interest in the Fabia R 5, which is being developed based on the new production model of the Fabia.
The world premiere of the concept car also caused quite a stir among the public at the Essen Motor Show at the end of November. The Fabia R 5 features the very latest technology. The new racing car will be equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, in accordance with FIA regulations.
This is a big change compared to the two-litre, petrol induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000. The new car is also fitted with a five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight will be at least 1,230 kilograms, as stipulated in the regulations. The new ŠKODA Fabia R 5 will make its race debut once it has successfully been homologated by the International Automobile Federation FIA. ŠKODA Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek: “We want to have the new Fabia R 5 approved by mid-2015 and are right on schedule to achieve this.”