Czechmate: New Skoda Fabia RS with 1.4 TSI 180HP in both Hatchback and Estate Forms Head to Geneva

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The latest generation of Skoda cars are -rightfully, in our opinion- considered by most consumers as budget-priced Volkswagens under disguise, a notion that has helped the Czech automaker go from post-Communist joke to a global success story. Their newest "VW Group Transformer" is the 2010 Fabia RS that will make its world debut at this week's Geneva Motor Show

The sportiest version of the Fabia range shares a common platform as well as its engine, transmission and other hidden hardware with the VW Polo GTI and Seat Ibiza Cupra models (and certain parts with the Audi A1...).

But with one significant difference: whereas the Polo GTI and Ibiza Cupra are available only as hatchbacks, the Fabia RS also offers a Station Wagon model that could open up a new market for Skoda.

Like its German and Spanish siblings, the Fabia RS hatchback and Estate models are motivated by the VW Group's 1.4-liter double-supercharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers an output of 180 horsepower.

A seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission with paddle-shifters transfers power to the front wheels.

Skoda said that 0-100km/h (62mph) acceleration comes in 7.3 seconds for both versions with the hatchback reaching a top speed of 225km/h or 140mph, and the Estate 227km/h or 141mph.

Combined fuel consumption for both models is estimated at 6.4lt/100km, equal to 36.8mpg US and 44mpg UK.

It's worth mentioning that the previous Fabia RS model was offered exclusively with a diesel engine.

Being a sporty model and all, Skoda's err VW's engineers tweaked the Fabia's suspension and brakes and added the firm's new XDS electronic differential which is also found on the Ibiza Cupra and Polo GTI cars.

In the styling department, both versions of the Fabia RS features subtle cosmetic upgrades that include the new front bumper with integrated LED daytime running lights 17-inch alloy wheels, red brake callipers, tinted windows and a new rear bumper with a diffuser and dual exhaust.

Depending on the color of the body, the roof, rear spoiler and wheels for the Fabia RS hatchback can be finished in black, white or silver.

As for the interior, both cars get sports seats with "RS" logos on the backrests, a new three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminum pedals.