A report from UK publication Autocar suggests the new Fabia concept car will be revealed in March, with a production-ready car due for launch later in 2014, possibly at the Paris motor show.
The car is said to be the first to be built on a new, shorter version of Volkswagen Group's MQB modular underpinnings (MQB-A), the same platform that will underpin the next-generation Polo (not the recently revealed updated model) and a new-generation Seat Ibiza.
Autocar claims the new Fabia model will be bigger than the car it replaces, both in length and width, and that it will have improved interior space and cargo capacity. The current generation Fabia range, which went on sale in Australia in June 2012, consists of a five-door hatchback that measures 4.00 metres long and 1.64m wide with a 300-litre luggage hold, and a five-door wagon which has a 480L boot and measures 4.24m long. There's no word yet on whether the wagon variant will be carried over to the next-generation model.
According to Skoda chief Winfried Vahland, the next Fabia will lose its dowdy, frumpy looks, with styling that will give it more cosmetic appeal, claiming it will "be far more youthful and have styling cues from the current S2000 rally car (pictured above) - much lower, much more squat and emotional in its look".
A range of VW-derived engines will likely show up in the new model, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine (as is seen in the Volkswagen Up! and Skoda Citigo), a duo of four-cylinder turbo engines (1.2- and 1.4-litres, respectively), and a 1.6-litre turbo diesel.
The new generation Skoda Fabia is expected to go on sale in world markets, including Australia, in 2015.