Skoda is celebrating 110 years of motorsport with the launch of a special edition Fabia Monte Carlo – a darker, more aggressive-looking version of the existing Fabia SE.
Not to be outdone, Vauxhall has also released a new version of the Corsa VXR hot hatch, the VXR Blue. It uses the same 1.6 turbo petrol engine as the standard Corsa VXR, but added extras include sporty Recaro seats, bright blue paint and 18-inch alloy wheels.
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Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
2011 is Skoda’s 110th year in motorsport; it’s also the 100th anniversary of the Monte Carlo rally. The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is here to celebrate.
Based on the existing Fabia SE trim and available as a hatchback only, the Fabia Monte Carlo comes with a choice of three 1.2-litre petrol engines – including two turbocharged TSI versions – or two 1.6-litre TDI turbodiesels. Maximum power is 104bhp from either the top-spec petrol or diesel, but this is a special edition that’s more about show than go.
The exterior gets new ‘piano-black body trim’, which wraps the edges of the wheelarches and extends along the length of the car. This is matched to a black roof, black door mirrors, black 17-inch alloys, black grille finish and smoked headlamps. The interior comes in all-black or red and black, with sports seats and black headlining. You also get silver sill finishers and steel pedals.
Prices for the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo start at £12,755 for the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol with 68bhp, rising to £15,000 for the 1.6-litre TDI with 104bhp. That represents a £1,520 premium over the ordinary Fabia SE.
Watch our hot hatch shootout video to find out which hot hatch we like best
Vauxhall Corsa VXR Blue
The Vauxhall Corsa VXR Blue celebrates no exciting anniversaries, but it is the first special edition Corsa since the recent range update.
Based on the standard Corsa VXR, the VXR Blue features Arden Blue metallic paint (who’d have thought?), 18-inch alloy wheels and dark tinted glass, paired with more blue on the inside via bespoke air vents and – perhaps most importantly – Recaro seats as standard. These seats are an expensive option on the standard car.
As with all Corsa VXRs, power comes courtesy of a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine. Maximum power of 189bhp means 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 140mph.
The Vauxhall Corsa VXR Blue is priced from £19,425. That’s £800 more than a regular Corsa VXR, but actually represents a £445 saving once you factor in the cost of the options.
Vauxhall is quick to point out the VXR Blue is as much as £3,600 cheaper than the equivalent Mini Cooper S or Citroen DS3 Racing. However, it neglects to mention that a Renaultsport Clio will set you back as little as £16,810 for the basic but brilliant Cup variant.
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