In a new feature for Diesel Car, we look at the cars that are no longer with us and call for their return. First up we say bring back the Skoda Fabia vRS
What was it?
The Fabia vRS was the high-performance version of the Skoda Fabia supermini. While there are plenty of hot hatch superminis about, what made the vRS special was that it was available exclusively as a diesel. It used the VW Group 1.9-litre TDi unit, developing 129bhp and an impressive 229lb ft of torque.
When was it on sale?
The Fabia vRS arrived in 2003 and production lasted four years, with the last examples built in March 2007. The end of production coincided with the launch of the Fabia vRS Special Edition, with 1,000 made. It featured uniquely numbered seats, red brake calipers, cruise control, privacy glass and a six-disc CD autochanger, and was finished exclusively in metallic Race Blue.
Why was it so good?
It was quick and quirky. The Fabia weighed relatively little and with all that torque on offer, it was a true hot hatch. And since it was diesel-only, it was unique. It was quicker and cheaper than some well-established rivals, such as the MINI Cooper. Around 12,000 examples were sold in the UK during its production run.
Will we see it again?
Doubt it. The petrol-powered Fabia vRS hasn’t been a strong seller in the Fabia range, and so publicly Skoda has said that a vRS version of the next generation Fabia is unlikely. The company believes that the future lies in cars like the Fabia Monte Carlo instead.