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  Article Image gallery (5) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Czech Republic
Introduced in:2015
Predecessor:Skoda Fabia S 2000
Source:Company press release
Last updated:April 16, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionGreen light: the new Skoda Fabia R 5 celebrates its debut on the world's rally tracks. Skoda Motorsport will contest three elite rally championships this year. Fans can see the new high-tech four-wheel drive Fabia R 5 in action in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and the Czech Rally Championship (McR). The new car hoping for victories will also contest the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) during the course of the season. New recruited Swedish super talent Pontus Tidemand will represent Skoda in the prestigious championship, with the final being held in the core market of China. Asia-Pacific Champion Jan Kopecky (CZ) and European Champion Esapekka Lappi (FIN) will also take the wheel for the Skoda Motorsport works team - now in the new Fabia R 5.

"We are delighted that the International Automobile Federation, the FIA, homologated our new Skoda Fabia R 5. Now we want to see how competitive our new rally car is," said Skoda Motorsport Director Michal Hrabanek. He is hoping that the new Pontus Tidemand/Emil Axelsson (S/S) team will be a breath of fresh air: "We already have the Asia-Pacific champion and the European champion driving for us, who have both delivered strong performances over the past few years. In Pontus Tidemand and Emil Axelsson we have added another very talented duo to ensure we have an even better standing for the future."

Former Junior World Rally Champion Tidemand and his co-driver will contest the APRC for Skoda. His season gets underway with the rally in New Zealand from 17 to 19 April - initially in the Fabia Super 2000. Jan Kopecky's victory in Skoda's core market of China clinched the title hat trick in the APRC in the Fabia Super 2000 for the Czech car manufacturer last year. "I am really looking forward to the new challenge. I am proud that my name has been added to the list of drivers for a brand as successful as Skoda," said 24-year-old Tidemand, regarded as one of the most talented rally drivers in Europe.

Esapekka Lappi, who is the same age, achieved something sensational when he won the European title in 2014. Alongside his co-driver Janne Ferm, this year he will compete with the world's elite in selected races in the WRC 2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship. Skoda Motorsport makes its return to the WRC at the Rally Portugal from 21 to 24 May in the new Skoda Fabia R 5, after a break of almost two years.

"We can't wait for our first race in the new Fabia R 5. We are excited about the new car, it's something really special," said Lappi. "We are delighted to return to the WRC top tier." Also in the new rally car, Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler will primarily compete in the Czech Rally Championship, which gets underway with the Rally Sumava Klatovy on 24/25 April.

"I am delighted that we are able to show off the new Skoda Fabia R 5 and what it's capable of to the fans in our home country," said Kopecky. Like Pontus Tidemand, he will also make selected appearances in the WRC 2 during the course of the season. The rally old hand believes that the Fabia R 5 will be an instant success: "We have tested the new car extensively. I am convinced that our team of many international engineers has done a great job."

After an extensive inspection, the highest authority in motorsport, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) gave the new Skoda Fabia R 5 the green light on 1 April. The Fabia R 5 is based on Skoda's spectacular new production Fabia and is the successor of the Fabia Super 2000, which went down as the most successful rally car in the 114 years of Skoda Motorsport's history. The Fabia Super 2000 has picked up almost 50 national and international titles in total since 2009, in part due to the successful customer programme.

The new Skoda Fabia R 5 is to continue the success story. The new high-tech construction is fitted with a 1.6 litre turbo engine, as stipulated by the FIA regulations. That is a significant difference to the two-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine of the Fabia Super 2000. The new car with four-wheel drive also makes use of a sequential five-speed transmission and McPherson struts. As stipulated by the regulations, the car weighs at least 1,230 kilogrammes. To ensure that everything fits together perfectly, the Skoda Motorsport team has invested 15 months in intensive development since the start of the project. The aim is the reward on the rally tracks around the world.

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  Article Image gallery (5) Specifications