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by Tim Beissmann

The Skoda Citigo will not go on sale in Australia in 2013 as expected and is no certainty to join the local line-up in the future.

Despite originally being planned to arrive during the first half of this year, Skoda Australia spokesman Karl Gehling told CarAdvice the local division currently has no firm plans to bring the Volkswagen Up!-based city car to our shores.

“It’s still under consideration. We haven’t made any decision yet,” Gehling said.

“We’ve never committed to bringing it, we’ve just said that we’re looking at it. I suspect that there’s no change as such, it’s still under consideration.”

In June 2012, Skoda Australia’s then-managing director, Matthew Wiesner, said the company planned to add the Citigo to its local line-up in the first half of 2013, with the expectation that it would be priced no higher than the Up!, which starts at $13,990 in three-door form.

But Gehling today confirmed the Citigo was no longer part of the local division’s launch diary, which will see the compact Skoda Rapid arrive midyear and the mid-sized Skoda Octavia follow in the fourth quarter.

“Those are our next two launches,” he said.

Asked whether he believed there was demand for a vehicle like the Skoda Citigo in Australia, Gehling responded: “We’ll have to wait and see.”

The Skoda Citigo is essentially a rebadged version of the Volkswagen Up!, differing only in exterior styling and interior presentation. Both cars are 3.5m long and are available with a 55kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.

The news comes as Skoda launches the racy Citigo Sport variant in the UK.

Available in both three- and five-door body styles, the Citigo Sport gains foglights, black 15-inch alloy wheels, a sporty body kit with front and rear spoilers and a rear diffuser, and a sports suspension tune that drops the hatchback’s ride height by 15mm.

Three exterior colour combinations are available: white with red stripes, red with black stripes and black with red stripes.

Inside, the Citigo Sport boasts red and black sports seats; leather wrapped steering wheel, handbrake and gearstick gaiter with red stitching; matching floor mats; a grey and black dashboard; and four additional speakers.




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