Skoda Fabia R5

Skoda has launched its new rally challenger, based on the updated Fabia due to land in Australia shortly.

Built to R5 specification, the new Fabia replaces the Fabia S2000, which has campaigned with great success all over the world, including two International Rally titles and three consecutive European Rally titles.

R5 cars are significantly cheaper than outright World Rally Cars due to the need to use a lot of production-spec componentry, but give little away in outright pace, being around 1-1.5sec slower per kilometre.

Skoda is one of the last to launch an R5 car, and will join the likes of Citroen, Peugeot and Ford in the WRC2 support category, driven by rising Finnish star (and 2014 ERC winner) Esapekka Lappi.

The car will also be campaigned by Swedish up-and-comer Pontus Tidemand in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, which kicks off this weekend in New Zealand. Tidemand will face stiff competition from Ken Block for the outright win.

The car has been exhaustively tested around Europe, and it's thought that being the last to show its hand, Skoda is likely to set the R5 pace, however competition is likely to be fierce.

Check out the video above to see the R5 in action.

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