A Look Back at the Skoda Felicia at its 20th Anniversary

For our readers based in central and eastern Europe, the Skoda Felicia needs no introduction. For others, though, it must be said that the Felicia was the first model completely developed by the Czech carmaker under the leadership of Volkswagen Group who had taken a 30 percent stake in Skoda in 1991.

Three years after joining forces with the Volkswagen Group, the first Skoda Fabia rolled off the assembly line. Between October 17, 1994 and 2001 around 1.4 million of the Skoda Felicia were produced as hatchbacks, estates, pick-ups, Vanplus and Fun models at the carmaker’s plants in Mladá Boleslav, Vrchlabí and Kvasiny.

The successor to the Skoda Favorit benefitted from VW’s input and marked the start of modern, Western production and quality standards at Skoda. Although based on the Favorit, the Felicia adopted substantial changes in terms of design, workmanship, technology and production methods.

Launched as a five-door hatchback with a 1,289cc petrol engine available in two output versions (54hp and 67hp), the Felicia soon received new engines and body styles. In 1995 a 74hp 1.6-liter petrol unit and a 63hp 1.9-liter four-cylinder diesel were launched.

In June 1995 Skoda launched the Felicia Combi, followed by a pickup version in August 1995 (including the closed version Vanplus). Later on, the automaker launched the leisure-oriented Skoda Felicia Fun, based on the Felicia Pick-up. Skoda also built around 18,500 units of the pick-up for Volkswagen under the Caddy nameplate.

With the Felicia, Skoda became the first Czech engine manufacturer to achieve the international quality certificate ISO 9002 in 1994. The car was also the brand’s first model to offer two airbags and ABS, as well as comfort features including air-conditioning, front electric windows and leather seats in the top-of-the-range Felicia Laurin & Klement.

In 1998 the Skoda applied a significant makeover to the Felicia to align it with the Octavia, launched in 1996. After a production run of 1,401,489 units, the last Skoda Felicia rolled off the line in 2001 to make way for its 1999 successor – the Fabia.

The Felicia did well in international motorsport too, with the Felicia Kit Car being used for three seasons between 1995 and 1997 in the rally world championships. The best result came in 1996, when Stig Blomqvist took third place overall in the British RAC Rally.

PHOTOS

Car Monitoring Tech Can Learn Passengers’ Age, Gender And A Whole Lot More

“My car is my castle” could soon become “My car is a 24-hour Big Brother AI”.

Buick Cascada Getting Axed, Will Be Missed By No One

GM finally admitted that Buick’s first convertible in 25 years won’t be sold beyond 2019.

Should You Spend £43,000 On Skoda’s 237 HP Kodiaq RS?

The Kodiaq RS is pretty good, but is it nearly $50k good? Watch this review to find out.

Land Rover Kills Plans For Discovery SVX Hardcore Off-Roader

JLR has already announced that it would reduce its model count, and the Disco SVX project was axed.

GM’s eBike Brand Named ARĪV, Launches In Europe With Two Models

The Meld and Merge eBikes offer ranges of up to 64 km (40 miles) on a single charge.

Je Design Bumps Cupra Ateca To 355 HP For The Price Of A Supermini

The pack for the Cupra Ateca includes an extra 59 HP, sporty exterior upgrades and new wheels.

France Will Invest $790 Million In Battery Industry To Reduce Reliance On China

President Emmanuel Macron is wary of trade wars and wants the French industry to become independent .

Mercedes To Expand Plug-In Hybrid Range To 10 Models By End Of This Year

Models like the A-Class, the GLC, the GLE, and more will get a PHEV powertrain option within 2019.

Vicious Texas Drainage Holes Still Claim SUVs, Trucks And Amazon Vans

These holes have been a hazard for quite some time, but local authorities haven’t gotten around to fixing them.

Should Kahn Build A Pink Lamborghini Urus Or Go For Purple?

Kahn’s founder took to social media to ask whether they should go ahead with the pink Urus project.