ŠKODA’s Head Designer Jozef Kabaň speaks about the demands on form and function of the new ŠKODA Fabia.
Question: A few months ago, the ‘ŠKODA VisionC’ design study gave us a first glimpse of the future ŠKODA design language. In what way does the new ŠKODA Fabia reflect this development?
Jozef Kabaň: We have demonstrated with the ‘ŠKODA VisionC’ design study how ŠKODA is able to combine great functionality with an expressive, emotional and more sharply defined design. This new design direction is the next step in the development of our brand and the new ŠKODA Fabia is the first model to communicate this design language. Drawing on elements of the ‘ŠKODA VisionC’ design study, the Fabia is more expressive, more dynamic and sportier.
Question: Why more emotions?
Jozef Kabaň: Demands on a car brand and its design develop over time. In recent years, ŠKODA has made a name for itself by producing cars with great functionality and above-average interior space. We sense that now is the right time to create a stronger connection between the functionality of our cars and an expressive and emotional design. You could say, that we are taking steps back to our roots. ŠKODA has a tradition of building design-oriented cars which are full of emotion, such as the legendary ŠKODA Popular Monte Carlo in the 1930s. We want to live up to these standards today.
Question: Does more emotion come at the expense of the new Fabia’s practical features?
Jozef Kabaň: No, quite the opposite. In spite of all its emotionality, the ŠKODA Fabia remains more than true to its fundamental virtues and is more spacious, practical, economical and clever than ever before. Despite its more dynamic design, we have increased the space in a number of important areas. The boot is bigger and has the largest capacity in its class, the interior is both wider and longer. In addition, we offer up to ten new ‘Simply Clever’ solutions, including MirrorLink technology, available in a ŠKODA vehicle for the first time, to connect a smartphone to the vehicle. Furthermore, this compact car is up to 17 per cent more economical and has innovative assistance systems from higher class cars. Our new Fabia proves that emotionality and functionality complement each other perfectly.
Question: From a design perspective, what is special about the new ŠKODA Fabia?
Jozef Kabaň: During the development of the third-generation Fabia, we focused on creating a sportier vehicle and made the design altogether crisper. The result is a young, fresh and modern compact car that sets new standards in its segment.
Question: Which design elements have you used to achieve this?
Jozef Kabaň: Firstly, we have given the car tighter proportions. The new ŠKODA Fabia is flatter and wider than before, giving it a fuller stance on the road. It also has sharp edges, clear lines and features crystalline design elements. This has allowed us to achieve greater contrast and a very distinctive interplay of light and shadows. All that gives the vehicle a unique and self-assured character.
Question: The car appears much more confident than before. Is that just because of its new proportions?
Jozef Kabaň: Not just because of this. The front of the car is one example: we designed the grille and the headlights so they appear optically stronger as a graphical unit. This makes the car appear wider, as does the powerfully-contoured bonnet with the two distinctive beadings on the sides. The wide and precision-cut headlights, alongside the width-enhancing fog lights, add to this effect. The clear horizontal structure of the back of the car also demonstrates strength. The powerful silhouette, together with the high, sharp tornado line creates more dynamics.
Question: More and more customers want to add a personal touch to their car. What can the new Fabia offer them?
Jozef Kabaň: There is more opportunity to customise the Fabia than ever before. 15 different body colours are available, as well as a special colour concept which offers customers the chance to individually select the colour of the roof, rims and exterior mirrors. We offer three lines and numerous options for the car’s interior.
Question: What is the significance of the crystalline elements?
Jozef Kabaň: ŠKODA is proud of its Bohemian heritage. The sharp lines, the clear contouring and the fine cut of the new Fabia’s headlights pay homage to the Czech tradition of glass art, and high degree of precision as well as high-quality finish stand out. The rear lights are particularly impressive.