Set to replace the current Fabia Fabia Super 2000, the R5 is seen by many as the future of rallying, which is currently in a downward spiral due largely to many manufacturers refusing to spend the kind of money required to fund a competitive team.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen agreed to freeze WRC car development in order to keep Citroen and M-Sport in the championship, but with Citroen, Peugeot and Ford already putting the finishing touches on their own R5 class cars, there’s no doubt that Volkswagen will follow suit, especially given its connections with Skoda.
With a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, the R5 is said to be around one second per kilometre slower than a WRC car – while costing as much as forty percent less thanks to the fact that it shares many more components with its road-going counterpart.
“Through the many international successes it has enjoyed, the current Fabia Super 2000 has been demonstrating our technical prowess for years, but the R5 category succeeds the Super 2000 class. This way, we are able to continue to compete successfully in international championships and to push ahead with our customer program. Entering the R5 class is a logical step for Skoda. As it stands, we are assuming that the new car will be homologated by mid-2015,” said Skoda Motorsport Director Michal Hrabánek.