Having ruled out the return of the Fabia RS, Skoda will not go any further with the supermini than the Monte Carlo trim level. The Czech brand also indirectly reiterates the estate won't be returning for the fourth generation as the flagship version introduced today completes the product range. As with previous models sold in this MC specification, the upgrades are merely cosmetic.
Changes start on the outside where Skoda has applied a variety of black accents noticeable on the front grille and apron, while the mirror caps and side skirts have a similar dark finish. At the back, the faux diffuser and large "SKODA" lettering on the tailgate adopt the same black finish. The two-tone look is rounded off by the contrasting black roof extending onto the A-pillars and rear spoiler.
Gallery: 2022 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
Wheel size kicks off at 16 inches, but you can upgrade to a 17-inch set. Both have removable plastic trims to boost aero and help lower the drag coefficient to 0.28. The fairly impressive Cd is also made possible by an active front grille with adjustable slats. Those willing to sacrifice comfort for extra style can splurge on the even larger 18-inch alloys.
The interior has been largely carried over from the lesser Fabia trim levels, but with standard sports seats and numerous red accents. There's also some fake carbon fibre on the dashboard and door cards, along with white stitching to spruce things up a bit. LED ambient lighting comes as standard on the Monte Carlo, while the fully digital instrument cluster measuring 10.25 inches costs extra.
A fully loaded specification will include a boot-mounted subwoofer, five USB-C ports, wireless charging, and a 9.2-inch infotainment bundled with a 64 GB SSD to store the navigation system's maps. Skoda sells the Fabia Monte Carlo with up to nine airbags and adaptive cruise controls working at speeds of up to 130 mph (210 km/h).
Even though it's being touted as the sportiest Fabia, the Monte Carlo is sold with the regular engines. That means you can have it with the lowly 1.0-litre naturally aspirated unit, a three-pot with a mighty 79 bhp (59 kW) and 93 Nm (69 lb-ft) delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. It needs 15.5 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) and tops out at 111 mph (179 km/h).
Up next is the turbocharged 1.0-litre, also a three-cylinder with a five-speed manual, but with 94 bhp (70 kW) and 175 Nm (129 lb-ft). The extra punch improves the sprint to 10.6 seconds and the maximum speed increases to 120 mph (193 km/h).
A more powerful configuration of the 1.0 TSI EVO engine unlocks 109 bhp (81 kW) and 200 Nm (148 lb-ft), along with offering a choice between a six-speed manual or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The three-pedal version needs 10 seconds for the sprint whereas its DSG equivalent can do it a tenth of a second quicker. Both max out at 127 mph (205 km/h).
We'd reckon the most suitable engine for the Fabia Monte Carlo is the larger four-cylinder 1.5-litre with 148 bhp (110 kW) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). Available exclusively with the DSG, it does the sprint in eight seconds and can reach a respectable top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h).
Skoda will have the range-topping Fabia on sale in Europe later this year.