Skoda has announced it will begin work on the Fabia R5 next year, the successor to the
The Czech manufacturer currently plans to give the Fabia R5 its competitive debut in mid-2015.
“Through the many international successes it has enjoyed, the current Fabia Super 2000 has been demonstrating our technical prowess for years. The challenge is now to follow on from this success. That is why we are working flat out to develop a new racing car, based on the Skoda Fabia, for the R5 category,” explained Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management for technical development at Skoda.
Michal Hrabanek, Skoda's motorsport director added: “Entering the R5 class is a logical step for Skoda.
“The new R5 rally car will be equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, in accordance with FIA regulations. That is a big change compared to today's naturally-aspirated, two-litre petrol engines
Peugeot Sport boss Bruno Famin has said he is 'optimistic' that the 208 T16 will be on
the pace when the R5-specification machine makes its FIA European Rally Championship debut next season.
The new-generation challenger was used as a course car on the Geko Ypres Rally ahead of its planned homologation on 1 January 2014.
“The car is almost for sale now,” said Famin. “We still have quite a lot of work to do but we have the time to finalise everything in absolute performance and reliability. We are optimistic but of course optimism is one thing but the race is another thing.”
Peugeot's 208 T16 will be available for customer use only with no factory team planned.
“There will be only one specification of car, the best one, and everyone will have the best one,” added Famin. “We will help all our customers in the same way, working on the set-up and giving this information to everybody.”