AUTO ON HOUR: Skoda Fabia RS
WHAT SHOWS THE DYNAMICS
ANATOLY FOMIN. PHOTO OF THE AUTHOR AND Skoda
A sports car with a diesel engine? Ten years ago, we would have laughed at such a joke. But the characteristics of modern engines "compression ignition" allow us to talk about outstanding overclocking capabilities without a shadow of irony.
At the Geneva Motor Show last year, Skoda introduced the Fabia RS model - a hatchback with an off-standard engine. Czech engineers "packed" under the hood the most powerful four-cylinder turbodiesel of the Volkswagen at that time. The 1.9-liter engine with pump nozzles is equipped with a turbocharger with an adjustable turbine apparatus and intermediate air cooling. In combination with the small mass of the car and a six-speed transmission with close gear ratios, it provided unprecedented dynamic qualities for the diesel engine: acceleration to 100 km / h in less than 10 s and a “maximum speed” of 200 km / h. In the fall of 2004, the Skoda Fabia RS received an upgraded gearbox with modified gear ratios at stages IV, V, VI. What is the difference between the Skoda Fabia RS and the usual Fabia? Of course, sports suspension settings. Stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, reduced ground clearance by 15 mm, 16-inch wheels with tires of the 45th profile - say that all this had a very noticeable effect on the behavior of the car. Check it out?
A short test drive “Skoda-Fabia RS” took place in the pouring rain in the vicinity of the Czech Liberec. In such weather, I don’t really want to look at the car. And yet, the most noticeable feature of the “Fabia RS” is the front rally car-style spoiler and impressive bumper air intakes, reminding that not only the coolant radiator and intercooler require fresh wind, but also the brake discs to which special air ducts lead. Behind - the original bumper, chrome exhaust pipe oval and a small spoiler on the top edge of the roof. Everything is neat and modest, and presumably aerodynamically in the case. And in the appendage - green-red-white nameplates with the letters RS, alloy wheels through which peep through the "green" brake calipers.
The dry air from the air conditioner quickly cleared up the “fogged” windows, the “wipers” brushed away the raindrops - go ahead! A pleasant surprise: getting started is very easy - not all turbodiesels today allow this. However, there is a considerable merit of the heavy, but very “understandable” clutch pedal. Acceleration! Ereska responds to a light touch on the gas pedal with a sharp slip and the blinking letters ESP - damp! In second gear, the situation repeats, and only in the third tire do they cope with tremendous torque.
A narrow forest path, where the crowns of trees almost hide the crying sky, becomes a ribbon of black shiny glass, and the trees merge into a blurred background of the already familiar color from the «Skoda’ emblem. In this mode, “Fabia” inspires complete confidence. An accurate, slightly heavy steering wheel, easy and error-free gear shifting, perfectly selected gear ratios and an incredibly high-torque engine make it possible to enjoy not only every little bit “straight”, but also catapult acceleration at the exit from the turn. Of course, if you lower the speed below 1500, the turbodiesel will lose all agility, but with such a clear switching mechanism, bringing to this is simply useless.
On our roads, the Fabia RS stiff suspension would not deserve praise, and low-profile tires would hardly survive to a very old age. But thanks to them, the driver and the car become one. Slippery? Of course, it would be possible to drive faster on dry asphalt, but now the rain is more likely to benefit - after all, this is a usual suburban highway, and not a closed rally track. Before the next bunch of turns, I deliberately brake later and sharper, bringing to the operation of the anti-lock system. It turns on, it seems, too late, when it seems that the Michelin XSE tires are already sliding on the black asphalt mirror. But no, the car still obeys the steering wheel - there are no complaints about electronics. Of course, it’s better to look at the speedometer. The feeling of oneness with the “Fabia RS” comes so quickly that it seems you can already do everything. Such thoughts must be driven away - they do not bring to good.
A winding highway passes a tiny town, winds through the hills and leads out onto a freeway. We merge into the stream, briefly hang on the tail of the car in front - a polite driver in it blinks with a right turn signal. Speed 130: fifth gear, long climb ahead. Gas to the “stop”, and at the end of the rise the arrow approaches the mark “190” … Yes, gasoline cars capable of such dynamics have motors for 200 forces. By the way, the Skoda's on-board computer shows 9.1 l / 100 km - but I didn’t stand on ceremony with the gas pedal.
Now it’s clear why the Czech Fab designers made the sports “Fabia” diesel. Do you feel the joy of a fast ride, realizing how with each acceleration the tank is rapidly emptying? Fuel prices in Europe are three times higher than ours …