Skoda Fabia
Skoda

This is the new Skoda Fabia, which has been revealed ahead of its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

The new supermini replaces the ageing current model, which has been on sale for seven years. It is expected to reach UK showrooms early next year with a starting price of around £10,000.

The Fabia is an important model for the Czech brand, as it looks to regain market share in the highly competitive supermini sector from its main rivals Ford and Vauxhall. It is even hoped that the Fabia could steal sales away from the Polo, made by Skoda's parent company Volkswagen.

Helping to drive sales figures upwards will be the new model's more grown-up styling, which gives a more contemporary look than its cute but forgettable predecessor.

The new car is a similar length to the outgoing model, but is both wider and lower, which not only gives it a more sporty appearance, but should greatly improve passenger space in both the front and rear.

Skoda Fabia
Skoda

Skoda head designer Jozef Kaban commented: "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."

Full specification details are yet to be announced, but the Fabia is expected to be available with a wide range of small turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, starting with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a series of 1.2-litre four-cylinder motors. CO2 emissions are expected to start as low as 82g/km, meaning road tax exemption under the current rules.

However, those holding out for a performance VRS edition may be disappointed, as there has currently been no confirmation that one will be offered with this third-generation model.