Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, has given the new ?koda Fabia R5 the green light to continue the Czech manufacturer's 114-year motorsport success story.

The R5 is based on ?koda's latest production Fabia and is the successor to the Super 2000 version, which went down in history as the most successful rally car in the history of ?koda Motorsport.

"We are delighted that the FIA has given us the green light as now we can prove just how good our new rally car is in the race series," said board member for development Dr Frank Welsch, "When working on the third-generation production Fabia, which enjoyed an extremely successful start, we incorporated some of the genes from our rally cars and developed the most emotive Fabia ever. Conversely, the production model now formed the basis for the new Fabia R5."

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Since the start of the project, ?koda Motorsport has invested 15 months of intense development work to fine-tune the car and ensure that the ultra-modern components interact perfectly. In compliance with FIA regulations, the R5 is equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine, itself a considerable change from the two-litre induction engine in the Fabia Super 2000. Furthermore, the new four-wheel drive car also features a five-speed sequential gearbox and McPherson struts. The weight of the car is at least 1230kg, as stipulated in the regulations.

In recent months, the new car has been subjected to a comprehensive approval process, which has now ended successfully with the approval from the FIA.

"We are happy that we now have the homologation from the FIA under our belt," ?koda motorsport director Michal Hrab?nek admitted, "The development of our new rally hope was a tiring process and a major challenge for the entire team at ?koda Motorsport, to whom I would like to say a big thank you."

Asia-Pacific champion Jan Kopeck?, European champion Esapekka Lappi, Freddy Loix and multiple Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager all provided valuable input during the development of the new car and, in the run up to the homologation, around 10,000 kilometres of testing were completed on a wide range of roads and conditions, including in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Finland.

"With the new Fabia R5, we want to follow on from the success we have enjoyed in recent years with speed and reliability on the rally routes of this world," Hrab?nek concluded, "Following the successful homologation, we can now initiate the next phase of the Fabia R5 project."