Czech manufacturer Skoda will unleash its freshly-homologated Fabia Super 2000 rally car for the first time at tomorrow?s Rally Monte Carlo, marking the official return of the brand to the world of motorsport.
The Fabia-based rally car is built to the FIA?s S2000 regulations, which will form the basis for all WRC cars from 2010 onwards. The specifications require each S2000 car to have an engine no bigger than 2.0 litres, be driven through a six-speed sequential or five-speed manual gearbox from a control manufacturer, use McPherson struts on both the front and rear suspension and carry no electronic driver aids.
In the case of Skoda?s Fabia Super 2000, the engine is an all-alloy naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre four cylinder which pumps out 245Nm of torque to get the 1200kg racer moving. An X-trac six-speed sequential takes drive to all four wheels via three mechanical LSDs, while Brembo brakes (355mm rotors on the front, 300mm on the rear) help it stop.
Skoda will field two cars in the Rally Monte Carl; the first crewed by Czech driver Jan Kopecky and his fellow countryman Petr Stary, while the other will be manned by Finns Juho Hanninen and Mikko Markkula. Skoda has big plans for the Fabia Super 2000, with a campaign in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (of which the Rally Monte Carlo is a part) being the most major commitment yet. Skoda is looking to enter the Fabia Super 2000 in lower level national competitions around Europe, and sales to privateer teams are also set to begin soon.
With WRC switching to S2000-based cars for 2010, could we see Skoda?s Fabia Super 2000 feature in the world?s biggest rally series? It?s certainly feasible considering it only needs a turbocharger, new inlet and exhaust manifolds, paddle shifters and a new aero kit to be added in order to comply with the new rules. Watch this space.