The Škoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the civilian sister of our competition special. A small car with a big heart, giving its drivers a taste of Škoda's sporting DNA. Here are four areas it will thrill you with.
Monte Carlo is not just a city of gambling, luxurious yachts, expensive hotels and azure blue sea. Above all, this place and its surroundings are steeped in motorsport. Right in the heart of the harbour you'll find Louis Chiron's bust, and just across the road is the Automobile Museum, full of unique exhibits that remind you that you find yourself in the only place in the world where the Formula 1 paddock and the World Rally Championship service facilities alternate at six-month intervals. Monte Carlo is also closely linked to Škoda's competitive success. The car manufacturer made its first appearance at the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo in 1912, when the event was only in its second year, and in 1936 the Škoda Popular scored its first major success here with a second place in the under 1,500cc class. The Škoda brand then launched a special series of 70 Popular cars with the Monte Carlo badge. In modern history, the badge returned in 2011, and since then, Škoda's sportier models have been referred to as Monte Carlo. Incidentally, in 2023, a rally version of the current Fabia won 16 of the 18 stages of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, including all the passes on the Col de Turini.
The Fabia Monte Carlo may be the smallest model in Škoda's range, but don't be fooled. This is definitely not just a car for shopping trips. Sure, it's compact and agile around town, but especially with the 1.5 TSI engine, it's a much more grown-up car than it looks. The new fourth-generation MQB A0 modular platform has increased the wheelbase and added plenty of interior space. Especially up front, this definitely doesn't give you the feeling of driving a small car. But the longer wheelbase brings about another important advantage, and that's the overall quietness of the car at higher speeds. That's the main reason for the Fabia Monte Carlo's maturity, with which it handles longer distances at motorway pace with ease. Another important benefit is the car's sophisticated aerodynamics, which give the new Fabia the lowest coefficient of air resistance in its class. The low level of aerodynamic noise further enhances occupant comfort inside.
The Monte Carlo version is richly equipped with a range of sporty extras reminiscent of the motorsport heritage. The black painted exterior accessories look great, as do the specifically shaped front and rear bumpers. The Monte Carlo variant's interior is also dominated by black colour, which looks great in combination with the red design elements. The sports seats with their distinctive lateral guidance and integrated head restraints sit low, which is unusual for cars in this category. The sports steering wheel has a good grip, an optimally thick rim and a wide range of adjustment options, which is important for an optimal driving position, which you'll find very quickly here. This makes it easy to blend in with the car during more dynamic driving, you can feel its movements well and there's nothing to distract you from your driving experience.
In addition to all the sporty features, you can also order a chassis lowered by 15 millimetres for your Fabia Monte Carlo. With it, the Fabia responds agilely to even the slightest movement of the steering wheel. Rapid changes of direction are also aided by the very rigid bodywork, which, incidentally, was also used by the Škoda Motorsport team to develop the competition version of the car. Its contribution is that the driver's commands are not lost in the torsion of the car's skeleton, making its reactions more direct and sharper. However, the rigid bodywork does not mean a stiff shock absorber set-up that would reduce ride comfort. On the contrary, its rigidity gives engineers more room for more comfortable chassis settings, which is beautifully evident in the Fabia. Despite its sporty flair, the Fabia Monte Carlo is still, above all, a very pleasant and well-equipped companion for everyday travel. And that's even if you have poor-quality tarmac under your wheels, such as on the Col de Turini.