Performance-inspired range-topper gains new 1.5-litre turbo engine and revised design features.
The new Skoda Fabia won’t get a hot RS model, but the Monte Carlo has returned as a performance-inspired range-topper with design changes and a new engine. The sportier variant is unconfirmed for Australia, with the standard Fabia range launch delayed until Q4 2022.
The Monte Carlo offers a choice of two engines: a 1.0-litre 81kW petrol that will get you from 0-100km/h in 9.9sec or a more powerful 1.5-litre turbo petrol delivering 110kW and a 0-100km/h time of 8.0sec.
Both engines can be selected with a seven-speed automatic transmission, while a six-speed manual is reserved for the 1.0-litre engine only.
It’s the first time this 1.5-litre engine, used in several Skoda models including the Kamiq, Octavia and Scala, has appeared on the Fabia. It’s also the most powerful version of Skoda’s supermini since the 132kW Fabia RS of 2010.
The Monte Carlo is also equipped with a host of exterior design changes to distinguish the model from the standard Fabia.
Each model is fitted with a black front grille and a new front apron with wider air intakes. The rear diffuser, side skirts and window surrounds are finished in black and the Monte Carlo badge is emblazoned on each wing.
The Monte Carlo is also equipped with 17-inch wheels, with larger 18-inch wheels available as an option.
Inside, the Monte Carlo gains sports seats with a theme of black and red, a decorative strip across the dashboard, carbonfibre-effect trim and contrasting stitching.
Technology options are similar to the standard Fabia. An 8.0i-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard (upgradable to a 9.2-inch unit) with smartphone connectivity, as is Skoda’s Virtual Cockpit display.
“This latest Monte Carlo variant brings the significantly more emotive design of the new, fourth-generation Fabia sharply into focus,” said Skoda design head Oliver Stefani.
“The body is longer, sleeker and wider, conveying a sense of dynamism that’s further enhanced by the model-specific front and rear aprons.
“Black details, such as those on the radiator grille or the wing mirrors, identify the new range-topping model at first glance and continue the tradition of the Monte Carlo variants.”
Skoda introduced the Monte Carlo badge 11 years ago on the second-generation Fabia, and it has appears on every version since to add an extra touch of sportiness to the model.
Skoda is yet to reveal pricing, which is expected closer to Australia’s late-2022 launch.