Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo: Looking to please the rally driver in you
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is a great car for any power-loving rally driver wannabe, but it leaves a little to be desired in terms of gadgets.
If you’re the type of guy who looks for a car with an untamed, powerfully raw beast of an engine, but something that won’t set you back too much, then look no further than the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo. If, however, you’re the type of guy who likes to have fun with all the bells and whistles usually found in sports spec cars, then you may want to keep looking…
The Monte Carlo that I tested didn’t have sat-nav, heated seats, a Bluetooth connection or anything that might keep you entertained on a long and boring drive (that’s not to say you can’t add them on if you’re actually buying one). However, it does have the look and feel of an extremely sporty little motor that, as I said, won’t set you back an absolute fortune. The Monte Carlo can be yours for just €17,725 and it comes with an annual road tax of just €225 which is pretty good considering that it’s a sports spec.
The minimalist interior lets you concentrate more on the road
So what’s the story with the Monte Carlo trim? Well, the Fabia Monte Carlo was created to celebrate 100 years of the Monte Carlo rally. Monte Carlo is found in the principality of Monaco, in case you didn’t know, and it’s best known for its wealth, luxury, beauty, beaches, hotels and casinos. However, according to the Skoda website, “none of these inspired the new Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo”. Basically, it’s not a car for posers.
With the Monte Carlo you get a black roof and spoiler, no matter which body paint colour you opt for and it really does give the car a personality of its own. The main headlamps, as well as the front fog lamps, front grille ribs and external rear-view mirrors have a black tint to them too, which again makes the Monte Carlo stand out from the crowd, while making it look as mean as hell.
The single greatest aspect of the Monte Carlo is how good it feels on tight, winding roads when you’re doing a decent speed. The wide wheels make the car stick to corners like glue and it’s 1.2L Volkswagen Polo-sourced TSI engine makes a lovely little growl that certainly matches some bigger and more expensive cars out there. If you’re lucky enough to get behind the wheel of the Monte Carlo, then you’ll have to take it for a spin around Sally Gap in Co. Wicklow, as the car was designed for those roads.
The noble steel foot pedals in the car are positioned perfectly for heel-toe driving and it doesn’t take too long to get up to 100kph. Skoda states that it takes 10.1 seconds with the 1.2L 105hp TSI engine, but you’d swear it’s a heck of a lot quicker than that.
The sports chassis also helps to keep the Monte Carlo’s sporty response in tow and the black 17” rims (that come as standard) brings a certain air of street-racer glamour to this beastly little motor.
The Monte Carlo is certainly a ‘driver’s car’. It’s not cute and cuddly like a Mini. It's a car you buy for the go, not for the show.