2021 Skoda Fabia likely under consideration for India [Update]

According to a report from autocar.co.uk, the 2021 Skoda Fabia will not see electrification whatsoever initially. Under consideration for India, the 2021 Skoda Fabia will debut as a no-frills budget car in the first half of 2021 in Europe.

The British report suggests that superminis are getting way too expensive and their price tags are driving customers away. So, Skoda is avoiding over-speccing its upcoming budget car initially, and that means no electrification, not even a mild-hybrid system.

Due to strict emission targets, electrification is inevitable in most markets where Skoda would sell the 2021 Skoda Fabia and the solution could be 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, marking the debut of electrical assistance on the 21-year old name.

The all-new Skoda Octavia (Mk4) that debuted last year is the first model for the company available with engines equipped with mild-hybrid technology. Two engines options are available on the Skoda Octavia mild hybrid: 1.0-litre TSI EVO e-TEC (110 PS/200 Nm) and 1.5-litre TSI EVO e-TEC (150 PS/250 Nm). The 1.0-litre unit, in a lesser state of tune, could be offered in the fourth-gen Skoda Fabia at a later stage, the latest by the mid-life facelift in 2024.

The TSI EVO e-TEC engines are an extension of the TSI EVO engines. The Skoda Fabia eTEC variant would make use of a 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and a 48-volt Lithium-ion battery allowing brake energy recuperation and storing that energy in the battery to assist the engine with functions like electric boost and engine start. It would be possible to coast with the engine completely shut off.

Conventional engines available in the 2021 Skoda Fabia will likely include 1.0-litre MPI petrol, 1.0-litre TSI EVO petrol, 1.5-litre TSI EVO petrol and 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine. A G-TEC natural gas variant with a 1.0-litre TSI EVO G-TEC petrol-CNG engine is also expected.

Last month, Thomas Schafer, the new CEO of Skoda (global), has confirmed that the 2021 Skoda Fabia will hit the first markets next year. Schafer has said that the 2021 Skoda Fabia “will be a great car” and that he has high expectations for the platform-mate of the VW Polo. Expect an early 2021 world premiere, with order books in Europe opening commencing shortly after.

Big design changes for the 2021 Skoda Fabia

The 2021 Skoda Fabia coming out in the first half of next year will get a design very different from the current crop of Skodas, EVW can confirm. The current generation Fabia which was introduced in 2014 rides on a mixed-MQB platform which combines modules from the MQB kit with the old PQ25 chassis. The incoming car, like the Audi A1, VW Polo and Seat Ibiza on sale, will ride on the smallest version of the MQB, the A0.

At the first-ever VW Media Night in New Delhi in February, we asked Oliver Stefani, head of Skoda design, whether the design of the 2021 Skoda Fabia would be an evolutionary step in Skoda design or something new that we haven’t seen from the brand. He said:

You can look forward to see something new!

When Stefani was asked about the mid-cycle programs of the current vehicles, and if those will be inspired by the styling of the Octavia, he said:

We are constantly developing the face, we never stand still. What you see on the Octavia now is just one step into the future. But we will interpret this in every car in a different way.

We expect the 2021 Skoda Fabia to come with a wider track, pronounced shoulders and flared wheel arches to set it apart from its cousins. Skoda would also bring new LED lighting and signatures inspired by Czech crystal glass art for added emotion. The 2021 Skoda Fabia is expected to offer the most space among the four brothers with rear seat comfort (highly relevant in markets like India and China) given precedence. Hence the roofline should be maintained flat with a boxy look at the rear to maximize boot capacity.

It isn’t clear how much equipment Skoda plans to add to its sub-Scala hatchback to keep the price competitive and avoid cannibalization, but expect to experience a digital instrument cluster, the latest in infotainment from the Modular Information Matrix system and a quieter cabin.

2021 Skoda Fabia India launch

The next-gen Skoda Fabia could arrive in India after 2022, as the Volkswagen Group (led by Skoda which is responsible for the model campaign) is considering re-entering the sub-4 metre segment. With a sub-4 metre SUV already being evaluated, we see no reason that Skoda would not relaunch the Fabia as a premium vehicle, slotting below the successor of the Skoda Rapid, if the next two launches go according to the script.

Speaking to ElectricVehicleWeb.in at the VW Group Media Night in New Delhi in February, Zac Hollis, Director (Sales, Service & Marketing) of Skoda India, strongly hinted that the company was looking to have an SUV, hatchback or both in the sub-4m segment. Hollis in the same interaction said a 7-seat version of the Vision IN-based SUV would not work:

What we need to do is to work out is what is the right segment to be in for the future. And you know you look at some of the growing segments in India, the sub-4m SUV is a growing segment, the hatchback is also a very good and big segment, so we have to look as far as India is concerned which are the right segments to move into for the future. So at the moment the two products that are decided are the car here (the Vision IN SUV) and the sedan which I mentioned as well.

The Indian Fabia, shifting to the MQB A0 IN, would need considerable modifications and a high level of localization to put up a strong fight with the Maruti Baleno and the incoming Hyundai i20.

Featured Image Source: autocar.co.uk

New Skoda Fabia FAQ

What is the new Skoda Fabia India launch date?

The relaunch of the Fabia could happen in 2023 given that the next two launches go well for Skoda India and strong demand persists for the premium hatch.

When will the 2021 Skoda Fabia debut?

The next-gen Skoda Fabia global debut will likely take place in the first half of 2021.