New Fabia Rally2 benefits from road car’s slippery lines

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Škoda Motorsport is in the final stages of development of the latest Rally2 iteration of its Fabia, based on the most recent roadgoing generation of the hatchback. With Rally2 rules ensuring that cars stick closely to the architecture of their production variants, factors such as aerodynamic performance are reliant upon a sound base design. According to Škoda, the recently updated Fabia has provided an excellent starting point, meaning the Rally2 is considerably more potent aerodynamically than its predecessor.

“The aerodynamic elements used on the road car have proven to work in competition environment too and have given the aerodynamic package of the Škoda Fabia Rally2 an excellent foundation,” explained Lukáš Vojík, lead at Škoda Auto, Technical Development, Aerodynamics. “We gave aerodynamics even more attention than we already did [with the R5 Fabia]with the current rally car. The main development target was higher downforce, at the same time enhancing the overall aerodynamic efficiency of the car.”

Specific features of the road car, such as openings on both side ends of the front bumper, have been leveraged to benefit the rally machine. These so-called air curtains direct the air flow along the body’s side panels and wheel arches, reducing drag and aiding fuel efficiency on the road car. These features are mirrored on the rally car, working in conjunction with the front splitter, to achieve a similar aerodynamic efficiency gain.

The Rally2 Fabia also features a completely new rear wing and considerable attention has been paid to cleaning up airflow over the roof. The result, Vojík said, is “twice the downforce compared to the current rally car”.

The Fabia is currently being tested in gravel trim in Spain, ahead of its homologation and release to customers later this year.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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