Skoda are in a buoyant mood. 2010 has been a good year for sales (up 10% on 2009) and they received 25 awards from the motoring press (including Best Manufacturer from Which?, What Car and Auto Express). They’re also still riding high in the JD Power survey, remaining in the top 10 for seventeen years.
So this year they’re in a celebratory mood. It’s the 110th anniversary of their motor-sport efforts, and by coincidence this year is also the 100 year anniversary of the Monte Carlo Rally, in which the Fabia S2000 is competing. So they’ve decided to add the new Fabia Monte Carlo to the range.
The Monte Carlo is certainly a striking looking hatch. The bright red paintwork is complemented by contrasting piano black wheel arches, roof, mirrors and grille, as well as smoked headlamps. Then there are the stylish 17” lightweight Trinity alloys, also finished in black.
On the inside of the Fabia Monte Carlo there’s a choice of all black or red and black sports seats. Both versions come with black roof lining, a perforated leather steering wheel with red stitching, leather handbrake and gearstick gaiter with red stitching (with the red-black interior option). To complete the enhanced sporty appeal silver kick plates and steel pedals are fitted as standard.
The standard trim level is based on the Fabia SE, but sadly the Monte Carlo doesn’t share the mechanicals of the range-topping vRS. Engines are limited to three 1.2-litre petrol engines (the best being the 105PS TSI) and a pair of 1.6-litre diesels (105PS being the best). All engines are linked to a five-speed manual gearbox.
The first public outing for the new Fabia Monte Carlo will be at this year’s Rallye Monte Carlo (19-22 January), where Skoda are hoping to continue the good form that their Fabia S2000 was enjoying in last year’s IRC.
On-the-road prices will range from £12,755 for the 69PS 1.2-litre petrol, with the 105PS petrol costing £14,030 and top diesel a little more at £15,000. If you’re interested Skoda will be taking orders from 24 January.