2020 has been a busy year for Skoda what with the rollout of its best-selling Octavia in its multiple configurations, from the sporty RS versions to the rugged Scout and the hybrid iV models. We’ve also seen the zero-emissions Enyaq as the brand’s first electric SUV serving as a sister model of the VW ID.4. What is the Mladá Boleslav brand planning for 2021? A facelifted Kodiaq, a coupe-ified Enyaq GT, but more importantly, the all-new Fabia.
Skoda’s new boss Thomas Schäfer recently announced plans to unveil the next-generation Fabia in 2021, but without going into any details. He only said it’s going to be a “great car” and that he has high expectations from the subcompact hatchback. While spy shots have emerged since then, these only showed a test mule using the VW Polo body. Today, our friends at Motor.es have speculatively rendered the Czech supermini.
Gallery: Skoda Fabia test mule spy photos
Not just any Fabia, but they decided to digitally imagine the posh Monte Carlo trim. With the demise of the spicy RS after the Mk2, the Monte Carlo has technically assumed the role of the flagship. It’s essentially been an appearance package, but a new report from Autocar claims Skoda could put “greater emphasis on sportiness visually or otherwise.” It could mean some minor hardware tweaks are planned, but these might be limited to a stiffer suspension system and other minor revisions.
This very unofficially rendering adopts cues from the Octavia and Scala to create a small hatchback that arguably looks just as posh as a high-end Polo or Ibiza. The two-tone look with a black roof is a Monte Carlo signature, and so are the black wheels and side mirror caps. We certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the real Fabia looking a lot like this, but this remains a purely speculative image at this point.
Finally switching to the MQB A0 platform, the new Fabia will mainly be powered by three-cylinder engines. Autocar claims a four-cylinder pot could be in the offing, although we wouldn’t hold our breath. The diesel-fueled Fabia has already been phased out with the Mk3’s facelift, so don’t expect to see the TDI badge on the fourth-gen model. Electrification is also not on the agenda, at least according to the British magazine’s report, although it could arrive later to help the VW Group cut emissions to meet more stringent laws.
A little bird has told us a Fabia Combi is planned to fight in a rarified subcompact wagon segment. With the demise of the SEAT Ibiza ST, Renault Clio ST, and Dacia Logan MCV, Skoda is smart to still offer a long-roof Fabia. A new crossover-inspired Scoutline with front-wheel drive would make sense, but it remains to be seen whether it will happen.
In typical Skoda fashion, we’re expecting the revamped Fabia to be the largest and most practical model in its segment. A price increase seems likely as the VW Group’s trend is to bring Skoda pricing quite close to the equivalent models from VW and SEAT. That wasn’t the case in the 2000s when Skodas were typically the most affordable. Then again, today's Skoda models are far more sophisticated so the price hike can be justified to some extent.