Skoda Motorsport is putting in a lot of effort to get the new Skoda Fabia Rally2 ready for competition. At the moment, the primary concentration of the designers is directed at achieving an ideal balance in the distribution of the weight. Furthermore, the chassis of the rally vehicle, which is based on the latest generation of the Skoda Fabia production model, provides the option for engineers further to improve the driving characteristics of the rally car. The extended wheelbase of the new FABIA is especially beneficial to the next generation of highly successful racing vehicle that has been raced worldwide.
The Skoda Fabia Rally2 is a planned edition of the famous little vehicle based on the entirely redesigned and reengineered commercial model of the Fabia. Because the technical restrictions of the Rally2 category only allow for minimal adjustments in this area, the racing vehicle also benefits from the revised dimensions of the new Skoda Fabia. As a result, the wheelbase of the production car has been extended by 94 millimeters, and its width has risen by 48 millimeters.
"The Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo is the most successful car in its category and has already won rallies worldwide in the 2022 season," said Michal Hrabánek, the Head of Skoda Motorsport. With the introduction of the next generation of the Rally2 trim level for the Skoda Fabia, our goal is to continue to hold the leadership position in this segment. Furthermore, the completely redesigned chassis is crucial for making the car even more competitive.
Skoda Motorsport is currently paying particular attention to the vehicle's ideal balance throughout building the next generation of cars and during the testing associated with that process. To accomplish this objective, the experts at Skoda Motorsport have reorganized various technical vehicle components by using the larger wheelbase and the modified breadth of the vehicle. In addition, Skoda Motorsport uses methods and procedures that were made just for them to evaluate the different track settings and make changes to the weight distribution while they are racing on the track.
"Compared to the existing Skoda Fabia Rally2, we started development from the proverbial white sheet of paper to get the best out of this layout," explains Jan Krasula, the project manager of the development team at Skoda Motorsport. For instance, we shifted the location of the fuel tank, and within the engine compartment, we took advantage of the extra space that was available between the rails of the landing gear. Furthermore, we have also improved the efficiency of the gearbox, clutch, and flywheel by making the necessary adjustments to maximize their performance. In addition to this, the next version of the Skoda Fabia Rally2 will be equipped with an intercooler that is both larger and more effective than the one found in the present model, which is too large to fit under the hood.
After several test drives with the development vehicle, the current rally champion of Finland, Emil Lindholm, had this to say after his time behind the wheel: "The latest version of the Skoda Fabia Rally2 is well balanced." The longer wheelbase makes the vehicle more silent, making the car's back end more stable.
"The vehicle's balance gives me confidence, especially for jumps," says Andreas Mikkelsen. He drives a Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo and won the WRC2 category of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship and the FIA European Rally Championship. "We are improving step by step in every area," is how fellow test driver Kris Meeke, who, like Mikkelsen, is already a winner of rallies in the World Championship, describes his experiences with the new generation of the Skoda Fabia Rally2 car. Mikkelsen is also a winner of World Championship rallies.