1998 Skoda Felicia
The Škoda Felicia is a pocket-size kinfolk car produced by the Czech carmaker Škoda Machine betwixt 1994 and 2001 (1995 – 2001 for the Škoda Felicia Combi). It was one of the first models to benefit from Škoda’s take over by the Volkswagen Group. It was a reworked version of the Favorit, but had a more modern appearance, with a redesigned front end, and a wider range of engines. A serial production begin in the late 1994.
The name Felicia was not used for the first time, resurrecting a nameplate originally used by Škoda in the 1960s for a range two-seater sports cars. They were very popular, with many still in operation today.
The Škoda Felicia’s line-up included the old 1.3 L OHV Škoda units, now with Bosch Mono Motronic single-point fuel injection (up until 1997), and Siemens multi-point fuel injection with two power outputs of 54 hp (40 kW) and 68 hp (50 kW). There was also two engines sourced from VW: a 75 hp (55 kW) 1.6 L petrol engine with Magneti Marelli multi-point fuel injection and a 64 hp (47 kW) 1.9 diesel. A five-speed gearbox was finally standard on all models. The 1.6 L model served as a homologation basis for the Škoda Felicia Kit-Car used in the World Rally Championship’s F2 class.
The Škoda Felicia came in a variety of bodyworks, both for personal and professional use. The base model was a 5-door hatchback, and was accompanied by an estate – replacing the Favorit-based Forman – redubbed as the Škoda Felicia Combi. There was also a pick-up version and a panel van called a Cube Van. The pick-up version was also imported to some countries re-branded as the VW Caddy pick-up. Škoda Felicia Pickup also had a lifestyle edition named the Škoda Felicia Fun, conceived mostly for the Western European market. It was available as a fake double cab model, with two reclinable rear seats and a fabric cover.
As the Škoda Felicia benefited from Volkswagen input, it helped change Škoda’s image in Western Europe. It heralded the first ever diesel powered Škoda and became their first car to feature major safety and convenience features. Some SLXI Models featured air conditioning and velour upholstery.
In 1998, the Škoda Felicia made headlines after its high satisfaction score gave Škoda the “Best Manufacturer” accolade in that year’s JD Power Car Survey.
Production of the Škoda Felicia ceased at the beginning of 2001, one year after the launch of the Škoda Fabia. A total of 1,416,939 cars had been made (the pick-up model was available for sale throughout 2001).
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