Having been around since 2015 with PQ26 underpinnings that precede the Volkswagen Group’s omnipresent MQB platform, it’s safe to say the current Fabia is getting a big long in the tooth. Virtually all of its rivals in the supermini segment are much newer, so it’s high time for Skoda to come out with the fourth-generation model. Not one, but two prototypes have been spotted carrying the production body for the first time.

Caught by Portál Řidiče on the D11 highway in the Czech Republic, the test vehicles seemed to have all of the final bits in place. The 2021 Fabia seems a tad larger than the outgoing model and is the latest Skoda to switch to horizontal taillights extending onto the tailgate. Knowing Mlada Boleslav’s modus operandi, expect the revamped subcompact hatchback to be larger than its sister cars, the VW Polo, SEAT Ibiza, and the fancier Audi A1 Sportback.

Gallery: 2021 Skoda Fabia prototype with production body spy photos

The side profile might seem oh-so familiar with that prominent upper character line, but the door handles have been moved slightly lower and the previously round fuel cap is now shaped like a rectangle. The C-pillar seems slightly wider than before and it could be a clue that the new Fabia will be slightly longer than before.

We don’t get a clear look at the front fascia, but it appears the prototype with the alloy wheels had full-LED headlights. The daytime running lights at the bottom remind us of the previous-gen Octavia before the facelift brought those questionable split headlights. At the back, the roof-mounted spoiler seems to be sticking out more than before, and the aforementioned wider taillights lend the new Fabia a more modern look.

While the hatchback will face some stiff internal competition while also fighting the Renault Clio, Peugeot 208, Opel Corsa, and other B-segment hatches, the Fabia Combi won’t have that problem. With the exception of Ladas only sold in certain markets, virtually all other manufacturers have dropped subcompact wagons from their Euro lineups, meaning the long-roof Fabia will essentially be in a league of its own.

Skoda has already confirmed the next-generation Fabia will debut in 2021, and chances are we won’t have to wait much longer. Seeing as how the next-gen Octavia and Superb facelift were unveiled in both hatchback and wagon shapes at the same time, we’re hoping it will be a similar story with the Fabia rather than having to wait for the more practical derivative.

When it does arrive, expect power to come exclusively from three-cylinder gasoline engines, with and without turbocharging. Manual and DSG transmissions are on the menu, while a hybrid powertrain has allegedly been ruled out. In typical Skoda fashion, there should be a number of Simply Clever features and a massive cargo area for the segment, especially in the case of the Fabia Combi.

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