Exciting Geneva Motor Show for Skoda. Part 1

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Skoda showcased some important new and revised models at the Geneva International motorshow this March, from the revised Citigo to the fastest production Octavia ever built, the vRS 245. Here we give a brief summary of all the updates, model by model.

Citigo:

The Citigo’s front section has been fundamentally revised: a new bonnet, a redesigned radiator grille in typical Škoda design, modified bumpers and updated fog lights create a fresh, young look. The tinted tail lights are now also available for the SE trim line upwards. A colour package with roof and wing mirrors offset in white or black is available for the SE and SE-L trim levels.

The front headlights are fitted with LED daytime running lights and the fog lights come with an optional cornering function, which lights up the area the vehicle is turning into on junctions with poor visibility. To this end, the cornering function automatically switches on the left or right fog light when turning at speeds of up to 40 km/h.

New 15-inch alloy wheels in silver and anthracite for the SE-L trim level and the Kiwi Green body colour, which is a new addition to the programme, complete the options for creating an individual exterior design.

The instrument cluster with speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge comes in a new design and is available in two different versions. The seats with integrated headrests provide good lateral support, radio and mobile phone can be operated on the optional multifunction leather steering wheel without the driver having to remove their hands. Automatic climate control ensures pleasant temperatures at all times. A high-resolution Maxi-DOT display as well as light and rain sensors are also optional.

The new-generation Blues and Swing radio models offer many connectivity options – ranging from an aux-in socket to an SD card slot and a USB socket. A colour display, six speakers and a Bluetooth connection are added to the Swing variant. Using this, the system can be connected to the driver’s smartphone, which is stored in a special smartphone holder on the dashboard. The apps running on the iOS and Android smartphone operating systems provide navigation, a driving data display, hands-free phone calls and economical driving as well as playing music and the radio.

Fabia:

The revised Fabia features a new 3 cylinder 1.0 TSi engine, to replace the current 1.2 TSi offerings. Thanks to an increase in injection pressure to 250 bar, both power variants of the new 1.0-litre engine offer better driving performance than the 1.2-litre engines that have been used up to now and they also achieve a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 6 per cent. 

Besides its smooth running, the new 1.0 TSI engine also impresses with its sporty and dynamic sound. With its compact construction and due to its lightweight aluminium crankcase, the engine weighs ten kilograms less than the 1.2-litre engine that has been used to date. The aluminium pistons and the connecting rods are so well balanced that the engine runs in a particularly smooth and refined manner with very little friction. A balancing shaft is therefore unnecessary. This saves on weight and helps to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The oil pump, which has a freely controllable flow rate, also helps with this. It continuously adjusts the pressure required to suit the engine load. The boost pressure, which reaches up to 1.6 bar (relatively), increases highly spontaneously due to the turbocharger’s intercooler being integrated into the induction tract. The engine comes across as very responsive and dynamic because the frequency of the exhaust pulses generally builds quicker than with the four-cylinder, for example. This occurs even at low rpm, providing a clear advantage in city traffic.

The power output of the Fabia 1.0 TSI with manual five-speed transmission is 70 kW (95 PS). Torque remains unchanged at 160 Nm, yet the driving performance has been improved. Compared to the 1.2 litre engine with four cylinder used to date, the top speed has increased by 3 km/h to 185 km/h and the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h has improved by 0.3 seconds to 10.6 seconds  The engine’s tractability from 60 to 100 km/h and from 80 to 120 km/h is identical to its predecessor. The fuel consumption and emissions have dropped considerably from 4.6 l per 100 km (105 g CO2/km) to 4.3 l per 100 km (99 g CO2/km).

Just like its 1.2-litre predecessor, the more powerful 1.0-litre engine with manual six-speed transmission delivers 81 kW (110 PS); however, its torque has increased from 175 to 200 Nm. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 9.5 seconds ,the top speed is 196 km/h. The increase in torque is most noticeable when accelerating on country roads or motorways. The improved tractability of the engine is most evident when it is combined with the optional 7-speed DSG transmission. In the highest gear, the short burst from 60 to 100 km/h can now be accomplished up to 2.6 seconds faster, while acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h is as much as 4.1 seconds faster. In the manual versions, the fuel consumption and emissions have dropped by 0.3 l to 4.4 l per 100 km (101 g CO2/km). For the DSG-transmission versions, the fuel consumption has reduced by 0.1 l to 4.5 l per 100 km (104 g CO2/km).

As an option, occupants in the revised Fabia can be ‘always online’ thanks to the new Škoda Connect services, which consist of Infotainment Online and Care Connect. One of the most attractive services that Infotainment Online has to offer is online traffic information, which shows traffic flow on the selected route in real time and suggests alternative routes in the event of a traffic jam. Infotainment Online services also provide information on petrol stations, available parking spaces, the news and the weather. 

The Care Connect services support drivers in many situations. Data is transferred via a SIM card that is permanently installed in the vehicle. The services include Emergency Call, which automatically connects to an emergency call centre when a restraint system has been deployed; it can also be operated manually. 

The Care Connect services also include Breakdown Call – which can be used to arrange help, if necessary, or to provide answers to technical questions about the vehicle – and Proactive Service. Proactive Service allows service-relevant vehicle data to be sent to a Škoda retailer in a timely manner before the vehicle’s service. The driver can remotely access information about whether the windows, doors and sunroof are closed as well as the remaining fuel level via the Škoda Connect app at any time. Furthermore, they can send navigation destinations to the car or display the vehicle’s current parking location on their smartphone. 

The SmartLink+ interface transfers selected smartphone apps including navigation apps to the infotainment system’s display. The integrated SmartGate function makes it possible to collect and save vehicle data on a connected smartphone and use it on the move.

Rapid Hatch & Spaceback:

Positioned between the Fabia and Octavia, the Rapid hatch & Spaceback are in the class of compact cars and set the benchmark for spaciousness among the direct competition. Compact on the outside, they boast a tremendous amount of space on the inside. Now both models have been optimized for 2017 with redesigned lights and bumpers as part of the exterior changes.

The visual enhancement of the Rapid is particularly evident at the front. The modified fog lights shine in the newly designed lower part of the bumper. A narrow chrome strip (standard on SE-L) connects the lights and creates a wider-looking front end.  Black-tinted covers on the taillights in the distinctive C-shape (Rapid hatch LED technology as an option) give the rear an even sportier look. The Rapid Spaceback now also features an extended rear window.

The wheels are available in new designs: COSTA 15 inch, EVORA (silver) and VIGO (silver / black metallic) for 16 inch, TRIUS (silver), and TORINO (black polished, for the Monte Carlo edition) 17 inch.

The main headlights now shine with bi-xenon lights, the daytime running light uses LED technology. The Light Assistant completes the programme: It activates the daytime running light with the ignition. A sensor then continually measures the light conditions and switches the headlights on or off automatically. This applies to both twilight and driving through tunnels. A predetermined time for brightness can be set using the Coming Home and Leaving Home functions. The vehicle environment is illuminated so that the passengers can safely get in our out. 

Finally, the high-beam assistant always ensures optimal illumination of the road. In the dark and at speeds above 60 km/h, the sensor detects vehicles ahead (up to a distance of 400 meters), as well as on-coming traffic (up to 1,000 meters) and dims the lights as appropriate. 

The interior of the upgraded models features many design changes. Firstly, new inlays have been added to the four doors. The air nozzles in the dashboard, the instruments and the control panel of the manual air-conditioning system have also been redesigned. 

As part of the upgrade, the new 1.0 TSi engine from the revised Fabia is now available in both power levels, replacing the current 1.2 TSi. The same connectivity and WLAN services from the Fabia also appear in the newly revised Rapid models, along with two extra USB ports in the rear. The music and navigation systems are based on the second-generation modular infotainment kit. Features such as the Škoda surround system, Bluetooth hands-free kit and an Apple-compatible USB port come as standard or are available as options. The smartphone interface SmartLink+, which supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLinkTM and SmartGate standards, can also be used with the display. 

The Rapid hatch and Spaceback continue to feature a wide range of safety systems: The electronic stabilization control ESC and a continual tyre-pressure monitoring, for example, come as standard. They also feature the multi-collision brake, which, in the event of an accident, reduces the risk of multiple collisions by preventing the continuous rolling of the vehicle. The trailer-stabilization programme expands the electronic stabilization control. 

Modern assistance systems, such as fatigue detection and Front Assist, including city emergency braking function, are also available for both models. Optional features, such as fog lamps with integrated cornering light and Hill-Climb Assist increase the active safety level. The park distance control for front and rear ensures comfort and safety. 

The passive safety systems protect the occupants in the event of an impact, inter alia, with six airbags in the front, side and head area, as well as height-adjustable three-point safety belts with belt tensioners as standard. KESSY provides even more comfort. The abbreviation stands for the keyless entry and start-stop system. By touching the sensor on the door handle, the vehicle unlocks or locks automatically. The ‘Start/Stop Engine’ button starts or stops the engine. 

Rob Owen

 

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