ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2: Next chapter in the success story

14. června 2022

Clear the way for the new ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2: ŠKODA Motorsport presents the successor to the FABIA Rally2 evo. The new rally model from Mladá Boleslav is based on the fourth-generation ŠKODA FABIA and follows on from the most successful Rally2 vehicle of recent years. ŠKODA Motorsport has developed a new engine for the FABIA RS Rally2, as well as improving the handling, powertrain and electronics and enhancing the safety features for the driver and co-driver. 

The new FABIA RS Rally2 has demonstrated its capabilities in a demanding test series on asphalt, gravel and ice as well as in a wide range of weather conditions and is ideally equipped to claim victories and titles in the hands of customer teams in the future.

The all-new ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2 is a rally vehicle for the Rally2 category and benefits from the best-in-class aerodynamics and exceptionally stiff bodywork of the production model. Compared to the successful predecessor model, the ŠKODA Motorsport team have optimised the powertrain in particular, as well as the electronics, safety and handling. The engineers also developed a new 1.6-litre turbocharged engine based on the 2.0 TSI from the EA888 engine series, which is used in the RS models, among others. ŠKODA’s new motorsport paintwork highlights the close ties to the sporty RS series models; the Hyper Green colourway echoes the OCTAVIA vRS and the ENYAQ Coupé iV vRS.

Demanding test series under a range of weather conditions

To prepare the new ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2 optimally for action on the rally track, ŠKODA Motorsport subjected the newcomer to extensive tests on asphalt, gravel and snow for almost a year. This included trials in the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Belgium and Spain, as well as under extreme winter conditions in northern Finland since the summer of 2021.

Overview: Technical highlights of the new rally car

ŠKODA Motorsport has incorporated a host of components optimised for rally use in the new FABIA RS Rally2. A special braking system and a precisely balanced chassis deliver valuable tenths of a second on the track. The roll cage, consisting of 35.8 meters of steel tubing and a specially protected fuel tank, ensures a high level of safety on board. In addition, the electronics and controls meet the exact requirements of the driver and co-driver during a rally.

Some of the components used in rally vehicles differ significantly from their counterparts in production vehicles. Instead of having up to nine airbags and numerous electronic assistance systems like those found in the production FABIA, the new ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2 relies purely on mechanics in many aspects. It also features specialised components, such as a roll cage and specially protected fuel tank. Unlike the production FABIA, the rally version only uses sensors for engine management and displaying the brake pressure, steering wheel position and fuel. The sensors merely provide information; in contrast to the production model, they do not perform any control functions. Only the engine control unit uses sensor data to ensure that it functions optimally in all driving modes and various weather conditions.

Different front-axle brake discs for asphalt and gravel tests

In a rally vehicle, the braking system can save valuable tenths of a second in the fight against the clock. The stronger the deceleration, the later the drivers can brake into a bend. In hard braking manoeuvres, the brake discs easily reach temperatures of more than 700 degrees Celsius. To ensure efficient cooling at all times, the FABIA RS Rally2’s brake discs are internally ventilated, and an optimised brake cooling system is also available for gravel and asphalt stages. The brake discs for asphalt have a diameter of 355 millimetres at the front and 300 millimetres at the rear, requiring 18-inch wheels with a rim size of 8×18. The brakes for use on gravel measure 300 millimetres at both the front and rear. In this case, 15-inch wheels with a size of 7×15 are used.

Special fuel tank for 100% sustainable petrol or for fossil racing fuel

The FABIA RS Rally2 has a special fuel tank and shock-resistant rubber in line with the FIA World Automobile Federation’s regulations. Its volume is 82.5 litres. A special foam filling prevents fuel from leaking. Additional protection is provided by a Carbon/Kevlar composite cover and an absorbent layer on the underside. Throughout the 2022 season, 100% sustainable petrol will be used in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). This is based on modern raw materials and high-purity renewable components. The bio-fuels are derived from biological waste and synthetic e-fuels. These are produced using renewable energies that enable electrolysis from ‘green’ hydrogen as well as CO2, which is extracted from the air and industrial processes. The 100% renewable petrol is then mixed in a laboratory without any fossil-fuel components.

35.8 metres of steel tubing protect the crew

ŠKODA Motorsport engineers have developed a roll cage for the new FABIA RS Rally2, which consists of a total of 35.8 metres of high-strength chrome-molybdenum steel tubing and is welded to the chassis during body construction. The side panels and roof are then mounted. This procedure allows for even greater manufacturing precision, as well as a better fit and connection to the body.

Special rally chassis and longer service life of components

The chassis of the FABIA RS Rally2 is also engineered to meet the demands of rallying. Compared to the previous model, the suspension stroke of the dampers is now longer and the MacPherson struts are stiffer. In addition, the designers reduced the friction in the dampers. The longer wheelbase also prompted the development of new suspension kinematics. In addition to the design of the differential, the shift characteristics of the transmission and the durability of various components have also been optimised.

Easy operation using touchpad and steering wheel buttons

The FABIA RS Rally2’s larger main display, which can even play back video information, allows for intuitive operation during a rally. The interior also features a new central control panel with a touch screen and integrated intercom. The driver can access numerous functions directly using buttons on the steering wheel, and the engine start button is also integrated into the steering wheel, where it can be quickly accessed if, for example, the engine stalls after a spin.

Enhanced weight distribution thanks to wider body and longer wheelbase

The chassis, based on the current generation of the ŠKODA FABIA production model, allowed the engineers to further optimise the rally car’s driving characteristics. The FABIA RS Rally2 benefits from the longer wheelbase of the fourth-generation FABIA, making the car quieter while ensuring a more stable rear. Compared to the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2, the fuel tank has been repositioned and the additional space in the engine compartment has been used for a larger intercooler.

Drive: Newly developed turbo engine, sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive

ŠKODA Motorsport has developed a new engine for the FABIA RS Rally2 and further optimised the time-proven powertrain. The FABIA RS Rally2’s 1.6-litre turbo engine is based on the 2.0 TSI from the EA888 engine series with an output of around 214 kW (289 hp). The maximum 430-Nm torque is distributed across all four wheels via a 5-speed sequential gearbox and two differentials.

The Rally2 regulations of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) stipulate a 1.6-litre turbo engine based on a production engine for vehicles in this category. When developing the powertrain for the new ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2, ŠKODA Motorsport opted to base it on the 2.0 TSI with an integrated exhaust manifold from the EA888 engine series, which is used in the brand’s RS models, among others. Compared to the FABIA Rally2 evo engine, the newly developed four-cylinder features redesigned intake and exhaust ports, optimised pistons and combustion chambers, variable valve timing and a redesigned lubrication system for a significantly enhanced combustion process. The engineers also revised the exhaust system, which has a new turbocharger, and developed an innovative intercooler and cooling circuit with greater cooling capacity. The FABIA RS Rally2 also features new engine management software. The diameter of the air restrictor is 32 millimetres, in line with the FIA’s technical regulations for the Rally2 category. This translates to an engine output of around 214 kW (289 hp) and a maximum torque of 430 Nm.

Power transmission via five-speed gearbox and two differentials across all four wheels

The sequential 5-speed transmission, specially designed for rally use, enables the driver to change gears in milliseconds using the gear stick alone. Although the FABIA RS Rally2 has a mechanical clutch, it is only used for starting, parking or when driving slowly. For optimum acceleration on tight, winding rally stages, the FABIA RS Rally2 has a relatively short gear ratio, offering a top speed of around 200 km/h (124mph).

The FABIA RS Rally2’s drive concept differs considerably from the production model, not least due to the all-wheel drive. Since the FIA’s technical regulations prohibit the use of electronic driving aids to improve traction, only mechanical differential locks on the front and rear axles are allowed; an additional centre differential is not permitted. The separating clutch between the front and rear axles, which is activated when the handbrake is applied, assists when turning into bends on the rally track. The suspension features MacPherson struts on both axles, which are designed to handle extreme loads.

Design and Aerodynamics: Production model offers the perfect basis

The new ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2 brings the emotive design language of the fourth-generation FABIA to the international racing tracks. The new rally vehicle benefits from the production model’s aerodynamics. ŠKODA Motorsport developed a highly efficient aerodynamic package based on the FABIA’s best-in-class drag coefficient. As a result, the new FABIA RS Rally2 generates almost twice as much downforce as its predecessor. ŠKODA Motorsport’s new Hyper Green paintwork ties in with the sporty vRS series models OCTAVIA vRS and ENYAQ Coupé iV vRS.

The new FABIA RS Rally2 rally model translates the fourth-generation FABIA’s design language to the world of motorsport. In addition to the longer roof spoiler with lateral finlets, the rally model also features the production vehicle’s flat, sharply contoured front headlights that extend right up to the large, hexagonal ŠKODA grille. The front and rear lights set visual accents with LED technology. The Rally FABIA also differs from its production counterpart with significantly wider front and rear wings and numerous air outlets on the body. The Hyper Green paintwork references ŠKODA’s vRS family, echoing the OCTAVIA vRS and the ENYAQ Coupé iV vRS.

Downforce values practically doubled

The production version of the ŠKODA FABIA has the best drag coefficient in its class. The experts at ŠKODA Motorsport used this perfect foundation to develop the aerodynamics package for the FABIA RS Rally2. Paying meticulous attention to detail, the team managed to almost double the downforce compared to its predecessor – an enormous advantage on the track, as greater downforce facilitates higher cornering speeds. For regulatory reasons, the engineers did not include active aerodynamic parts such as the radiator louvre from the production FABIA.

The air curtains in the front bumpers of the production FABIA guide the airstream closely and aerodynamically over the body and wheels. These are also used in the FABIA RS Rally2. They increase the downforce in combination with new side skirts, which prevent air from flowing under the vehicle from the side. Incorporating a front splitter across the entire lower edge of the front bumper, they ensure optimum aerodynamic efficiency at the front. The splitter also reduces the amount of air flowing under the vehicle, thus ensuring faster airflow and lower pressure under the vehicle, which increases the downforce.

Aerodynamic components typical of a rally car

Several aerodynamic components have been specially developed for the FABIA RS Rally2. In addition to the wider front and rear fenders, the newly developed rear wing increases the downforce. The dimensions and position comply with the regulations for the vehicle’s width and height. A small spoiler lip, the so-called Gurney flap, serves as a tear-off edge and also improves the downforce. The airflow over the roof is optimised thanks to a centrally positioned air scoop, which simultaneously supplies fresh air to the cockpit. On a production model, this air intake is located below the windscreen, but on rally cars, this area is very susceptible to dust or water.

Cooling air for engine and brakes

The engine and brakes require more cooling air during racing. This is supplied via special aerodynamic components in the FABIA RS Rally2. Two large, central air inlets at the front allow fresh air for the radiator to be directed to the upper section of the engine compartment and to the turbocharger intercooler, which is positioned lower down. Openings on both sides of the bonnet vent the hot air. In addition, cooling air flows directly onto the front brake callipers via two inlets in the front apron and small ventilation pipes.

Safety: Even better protection for driver and co-driver

The engineers at ŠKODA Motorsport have introduced numerous measures to protect the driver and co-driver in the FABIA RS Rally2 even better in the event of a collision. One priority was safety in the event of a side impact, and comprehensive analyses of accidents provided important information on this issue.

The measures and equipment to protect the occupants in a rally vehicle differ significantly from those in a production model. The airbags installed in the fourth-generation production FABIA cannot be used in rallying because the sensors and electronic control systems react too sensitively to the high G-forces during asphalt stages, on gravel tracks or in long jumps. The safety concept, therefore, relies on mechanical solutions such as a roll cage and side protection made of carbon fibre and energy-absorbing foam. Six-point harnesses and racing seats with integrated head protection also come into play.

Roll cage made of high-strength chromoly steel

In designing the new model, the engineers at ŠKODA Motorsport used analysis data from previous rally accidents. The roll cage for the new FABIA RS Rally2, made of 35.8 metres of high-strength chromium-molybdenum steel, consists of longitudinal, transverse and diagonal tubes in the door openings, under the vehicle roof, around the windscreen and behind the seats. The dimensions and material of the safety cell are defined by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) technical regulations. ŠKODA Motorsport goes far beyond these requirements with the new Rally FABIA. The gusset plates that are relevant in the event of a side impact are also more robust than stipulated in the regulations.

Designed with the aid of computer calculations, the roll cage secures the survival space of the driver and co-driver in the event of an accident, even if the bodywork is badly damaged. It also forms an integral part of the chassis, to which it is hand-welded by certified professionals. This significantly increases the torsional rigidity of the body, which is already stiffer thanks to the MQB-A0 platform. Every FABIA RS Rally2 is assembled exclusively at ŠKODA Motorsport in Mladá Boleslav.

Side impact protection made of carbon fibre, Kevlar and energy-absorbing foam

In a rally car, the driver and front passenger are particularly vulnerable in the event of a side impact. While the production FABIA is protected by a combination of B-pillars, door reinforcements and airbags, the rally version is protected by a roll cage with two door pillars and gusset plates. In addition, the FABIA RS Rally2 has an energy-absorbing structure made of foam between the outer door skin and the interior, as well as door panels made of composite materials. The structure of the composite panels is predefined: Five layers of carbon 280 and one layer of Kevlar 300. The Kevlar layer is closest to the driver and co-driver and protects them from sharp carbon fragments in the event of an accident. The absorbing foam must be approved by the FIA and have the minimum volume specified in the regulations in order to reduce the impact energy and thus the force on the human body. In the FABIA RS Rally2, special racing seats, six-point harnesses and personal equipment, including the mandatory head-and-neck support system (HANS) on the helmet with restraint straps also contribute to effectively mitigating the impact forces. This system protects the crew’s heads from sudden and violent movements.

To better distribute the forces generated in a side impact, both body sides of the FABIA RS Rally2 are joined by the seat bracket structure and an additional rail. The door crosses of the roll cage are even more robust and exceed the FIA’s requirements. To optimise the strength of the shoulder belt attachment points, the FABIA RS Rally2 has been fitted with an additional cage tube on each side of the vehicle.

Automatic fire extinguishing system on board

The FABIA RS Rally2’s polycarbonate side windows can be easily removed in accordance with FIA regulations. In addition, the on-board safety equipment includes a fire extinguishing system, comprising an automatic system with nozzles in the cockpit and engine compartment and a manual fire extinguisher in the co-driver’s footwell. The system can also be activated externally.

History of ŠKODA Motorsport: A string of international titles and successes

The ŠKODA FABIA is among the most successful rally vehicles in the world: From 2015 to 2022, the rally version of the popular Czech small car dominated the WRC2 category as the FABIA Rally2 and FABIA Rally2 evo. The more than 450 units built by ŠKODA Motorsport had clinched 1,710 victories by April 2022, including four triumphs in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. ŠKODA Motorsport and its customer teams celebrated twelve world championship titles in driver and team categories with vehicles based on the third-generation FABIA, making the FABIA Rally2 and FABIA Rally2 evo even more successful than their predecessors, the FABIA S2000 and FABIA WRC. ŠKODA Motorsport is also working on many innovative projects, including the all-electric rally car ŠKODA RE-X1 Kreisel.

Based on the third-generation FABIA, the FABIA Rally2 marked the beginning of a hugely successful era for ŠKODA Motorsport in 2015: The Czech car manufacturer’s motorsport division has so far delivered more than 450 units to customer teams, making the FABIA Rally2 and Rally2 evo the most frequently delivered Rally2 vehicle worldwide since 2016. The customer teams and the ŠKODA Motorsport works team had secured 1,710 victories and 4,116 podium finishes in 12,616 events around the world by April 2022. ŠKODA works drivers Esapekka Lappi (Finland/2016), Pontus Tidemand (Sweden/2017), Jan Kopecký (Czech Republic/2018), Kalle Rovanperä (Finland/2019) and ŠKODA customer team drivers Pierre-Louis Loubet (France/2019) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway/2021) won six drivers’ titles in the WRC2 and WRC2 Pro classes in the World Rally Championship during this period. In addition, Mladá Boleslav claimed the team title five times, with the customer team Toksport WRT clinching the team title once.

ŠKODA Motorsport and its customer teams have won more than 20 titles in Europe since 2015, including in the main category of the European Championship with Andreas Mikkelsen (2021) and Britain’s Chris Ingram (2019) behind the wheel. Added to this are victories in the FIA Championships in Africa (ARC), North and Central America (NACAM), South America (CODASUR), Asia-Pacific (APRC) and the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). At the national level, drivers and teams claimed no fewer than 100 championships worldwide with the FABIA Rally2 or FABIA Rally2 evo, including six victories in the Czech Republic, the manufacturer’s home country, and three wins in Germany.

ŠKODA Motorsport’s new strategy since 2020

ŠKODA Motorsport kicked off the 2020 season with a shift in strategy. After the numerous successes in previous years, ŠKODA would no longer field its own team in the World Rally Championship, instead stepping up support for the globally active customer teams while continuing to develop its service portfolio. At the same time, the Motorsport department was working hard on developing the ŠKODA FABIA RS Rally2.

ŠKODA RE-X1 Kreisel – an innovative project

ŠKODA Motorsport, ŠKODA Austria, Kreisel Electric, a company specialising in battery technology, and Baumschlager Rallye & Racing, the operational partner, worked together to develop the all-electric ŠKODA RE-X1 Kreisel rally car. Drawing on its experience and competence with the world’s most successful car in the Rally2 category, the Motorsport department of the Mladá Boleslav-based manufacturer adapted the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo chassis to accommodate Kreisel’s electric drivetrain. The resulting ŠKODA RE-X1 Kreisel concept car combines the manufacturer’s considerable expertise in high-class rally cars with Kreisel’s innovative battery technology. The electric motor developed by Kreisel Electric delivers a peak output of 260 kW and a maximum torque of 600 Newton metres.


The ŠKODA FABIA R5 has been the benchmark in WRC2 classes since 2015. The vehicle was developed for the R5 category and is based on the third-generation production FABIA. In 2019, ŠKODA Motorsport launched the FABIA R5 evo, an enhanced version of its successful model. A change in some regulations for the World Rally Championship and individual classes by the World Automobile Association in 2020 also saw the introduction of new terminology; the R5 category became the Rally2 category. Consequently, ŠKODA Motorsport aligned the names of its two rally models based on the third-generation FABIA: the FABIA R5 became the FABIA Rally2 and the upgraded FABIA R5 evo was renamed the FABIA Rally2 evo. The FABIA Rally2 evo is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, delivering an output of around 214 kW (291 hp) and a maximum torque of 425 Nm. A 5-speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive transfer the power to the road.


The FABIA S2000 was based on the second-generation FABIA presented in 2007 and was unveiled to the public at the Monte Carlo Rally in early 2009. It complied with the regulations of the newly established Super 2000 Rally (S2000) class. The model was mainly geared towards low-cost customer sport and was positioned below the top WRC category with technologically much more sophisticated and more expensive vehicles. The vehicles had permanent all-wheel drive, a two-litre naturally aspirated engine and minimal electronics. The engine of the FABIA S2000 generated 206 kW (280 hp) and had a maximum torque of 250 Nm. It was with this car that ŠKODA began marketing rally cars directly to customer teams and opened a winning streak on the international rally circuits. Altogether, the FABIA S2000 won 50 national and international championship titles until it was replaced by the FABIA R5 in 2015.


The ŠKODA FABIA WRC was the first rally version of the brand’s popular small car. The FABIA WRC was based on the sporty first-generation ŠKODA FABIA RS production model and premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2003. It succeeded the ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC in the top category of the World Rally Championship. The model had a water-cooled four-cylinder turbo engine and a two-litre displacement. This generated an output of 221 kW (300 hp) and a maximum torque of 600 Nm. The power was transmitted to all four wheels via a sequential six-speed gearbox and three active differentials. The FABIA WRC celebrated its WRC debut at the Rally Germany 2003. In total, 24 vehicles were built in Mladá Boleslav before the second generation of the production FABIA was introduced.

Customer Sports Programme: 24-hour service for rally cars

ŠKODA Motorsport has been supporting numerous customer teams in international rallying since 2020. After purchasing a ŠKODA rally vehicle, the service includes a comprehensive supply of spare parts and technical support on request. Spearheading the customer teams is the factory-backed German team Toksport WRT. Last year, Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen drove for the team based at the Nürburgring where he took the drivers’ title in the WRC2 world championship as well as the European Championship title. This year, the team is fielding two crews in the WRC2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship with defending title holder Mikkelsen and three other drivers.

After numerous successes with the factory team in recent years, the focus at ŠKODA Motorsport has turned to the customer sports programme, starting the 2020 season with a comprehensive range of services. The offer includes a comprehensive supply of spare parts as well as revision work on engines, transmissions and chassis components such as the shock absorbers. After purchasing a rally vehicle from Mladá Boleslav, ŠKODA Motorsport offers this technical support to teams at numerous rally events within the scope of on-site assistance. On request, teams will receive set-up suggestions for upcoming rallies, as well as technical bulletins and training for their engineers and mechanics. The direct contact with the teams begins as soon as they order a rally car from ŠKODA. The sale of vehicles and spare parts is handled exclusively by ŠKODA Motorsport.

On-site assistance and 24-hour support

Excellent customer service and vehicle reliability are crucial to the success of a motorsport customer programme, which is why all customer teams can rely on ŠKODA Motorsport’s 24-7 support. In the FIA World Rally Championship, teams also have the option of using ŠKODA Motorsport’s support truck, equipped with an array of spare parts, which is available at selected WRC rounds and certain events in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC).

Operation title defence with Toksport WRT

The German team Toksport WRT receives comprehensive factory support. The team, based at the Nürburgring, won the driver titles in the WRC2 and ERC last year with ŠKODA factory driver Andreas Mikkelsen, among others. Successfully defending the WRC title is the goal for the 2022 season. With victories at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally and Rally Sweden, Andreas Mikkelsen has got off to a perfect start. Alongside the reigning World and European Champion, Toksport WRT relies on talented young drivers in the WRC2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship and fields up to four vehicles in two teams. The Bolivian Marco Bulacia, the Russian Nikolay Gryazin and Emil Lindholm from Finland will be competing for Toksport WRT in the various WRC rounds of 2022.

ŠKODA Motorsport customer sports programme began with the FABIA S2000

ŠKODA Motorsport launched its customer sports programme some 13 years ago. The ŠKODA FABIA S2000’s debut in 2009 not only marked ŠKODA Motorsport’s factory return to international rallying; ŠKODA also began delivering this vehicle, which was targeted specifically at cost-effective customer sport, to customer teams and sold 63 vehicles. This signalled the beginning of a success story: Since then, the ŠKODA Motorsport headquarters, not far from Mladá Boleslav, has expanded to an area of 3,844 m² of production and warehouse facilities, as well as 1,859 m² of office space.

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