Want a Volkswagen GTI but in sedan or wagon form and with a more toned-down look? That'd be the new Škoda Octavia RS 230 revealed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, but you'll have to move overseas to get one.
A few months ago, Škoda revealed its all-new Fabia, a model that will undoubtedly be a vital product for the Czech automaker, yet it hardly registered on our scale of the most exciting debuts at the Paris Motor Show this year. But this... this is more like it.
The Škoda what now, you ask? The Škoda Fabia, that's what. It may not be offered in North America, but globally speaking, it's the second most successful model from the Volkswagen group's third most successful brand. And Skoda has just revealed the all-new version here at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
Škoda may not get the bulk of our attention, but it's hard to argue with the nearly 1 million vehicles it moved last year. In terms of sales volume, that makes Škoda the third biggest division under the Volkswagen Group umbrella (after VW and Audi). The Octavia accounted for over a third of that, but despite having been introduced back in 2007, the Fabia remains its second most popular model worldwide. Good thing it's got an all-new model on the cusp, then.
Since it doesn't market in these United States, Škoda may not be an automaker consistently on our radar screen. But it sells nearly a million vehicles each year in markets like Europe and China, and though it doesn't ell as many as the larger Octavia, the Fabia is one of the Czech automaker's biggest sellers. In fact Škoda sold over 12,000 Fabias just last month, despite the model having been on the market virtually unchanged for seven years already. But now the Volkswagen's most b
Automakers may be paying a lot of attention these days to making their crossovers and SUVs drive more like cars, but at the same time, they're also making cars that feel more like SUVs. We're talking about models like the Subaru Outback, Audi Allroad and Volvo XC70. These soft-road (if not quite off-road) wagons have a particularly keen following overseas, and that point is not lost on Volkswagen. In fact the German auto giant has soft-road models under each of its mainstream brands: Volkswagen
American buyers in the market for a hot hatch from the Volkswagen Group can choose between the GTI or the Golf R, but our compatriots overseas have more options at their disposal, all based on the same platform. They can go for more Latin flavor in the Seat Leon Cupra (available in two states of tune) or for the more low-key Škoda Octavia RS. But soon, it seems, they'll have another choice on their hands in the form of an even more potent Octavia.
Škoda doesn't sell nearly as many of its Citigo city cars as it does the Octavia, Rapid, Fabia, Yeti or Superb. In fact the Citigo is its second slowest seller, ahead only of the Roomster cargo van. That could be because it only sells the Citigo in Europe, or because, while its other models are more distinct from their corporate cousins, the Citigo is barely indiscernible from the Volkswagen Up! or Seat Mii (save for the badge on the nose). That hasn't stopped the Czech automaker, however
Volkswagen rejoined the World Rally Championship last year and immediately took both the drivers' and manufacturers' titles, and is already on track to do the same this year. But before the VW brand itself got back into rallying, that role belonged to its Czech subsidiary. Škoda won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2010, 2011 and 2012, when it also won the European Rally Championship, as well.
Every year, fans of Volkswagen Group performance cars gather at a lake in Austria to celebrate the GTI Treffen. But what started as a fan-fest for VW hot hatches has long since expanded to include other brands under the company's sprawling umbrella, and Škoda never misses out.