You'd need a bit more than 175bhp to beat one mate! Even if you had the same 200 bhp that the Civic does, you'd still need another 20 or so to beat one, seeing that the Fabia weighs a hell of a lot more, and that's pretty poor for a smaller car!
There's not even that bigger difference in running costs, as the petrol is so much cheaper to buy!
I have a 2.2 Honda Prelude vtec and I raced one of those Seat Leon FR diesel things (great looking cars). In 1st and 2nd gear, there wasn't much in it, but 3rd gear I started pulling away, and by the time I got it in 4th, I was at least 5 car lengths ahead.
Fabia vRS does 20-40 quicker than a Lotus 111R, does 50-70 quicker than a 330Ci BMW. The in gear acceleration is simply impressive for a car of this insurance group, price and the fact it's a stock diesel econo engine.
A few car mags when testing the Fab vRS quoted 0-60 times of 7.5 and 8.1secs - from a stock car.
When most owners have thier stock vRSs rolling roaded, they normally make between 140-150bhp at the fly, which is more than the 128bhp quoted by Skoda.
However, I won't say a stock CTR is quicker than a tuned vRS. I will say they are a lot lighter and have much better handling for stock than a vRS. Skoda didn't really do anything to make these cars handle out of the box. To make a vRS handle you need to shave off a few hundred kilos, which won't be easy, then you need the 23mm rear arb, uprated front arb, front, rear and lower braces, full poly bushed suspension, coil overs not to mention some better brakes, either 312s or brembos, then maybe, just maybe it will handle and stop like a proper hot hatch.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with the last commenter completely.
For a start, your acceleration times you quoted: where they for a particular gear? If you're talking about the higher gears such as 3rd, 4th etc. then maybe the vRS will be faster than the Elise and Beemer, but realistically, when an owner accelerates hard in any car, they drop to the lowest gear they can in order to gain maximum acceleration from any vehicle, racing in the highest gear possible doesn't make any sense, and if the owner of both cars were racing at those or any other speed for that matter properly, they would leave the Fabia in their dust.
Your figures for 0-60 etc. are way off, 7.5 seconds? Really? If these are real figures, tested by real magazines, then they must have been pushing the cars to within an inch of their life.
Second point you raised about handling, very true as the Skoda was always going to be a warm hatch at best, that's what it was designed for, and if you're gonna throw that much money at a car (which let's be honest is going to be into 5-6k when you're done, with Brembo brakes and top drawer suspension etc.) the price of the car is gonna get very expensive, and then insurance will also be on a par with a hot hatch too, (assuming you tell them, which you should if you want to be covered), this means a hot hatch would then become the better ownership proposition as it will be faster, more fun and better handling from the word go, and cheaper than the Skoda, so equaling up the price, adding to the hot hatch like a Civic Type R etc. is going to make them even faster, so the Skoda will still be miles behind.
I pity anybody who modifies a diesel, LOL, really if you're trying to go fast, a good petrol is much better, you will find that diesel lumps are heavy, old fashioned and useless at performing. Before you start going into the whole argument about the Audi R10 TDI race car, remember that it has a bigger displacement than the petrol cars as well as two barn door sized turbos, so the petrol cars are actually handicapped in comparison, and also the 'fast' diesel road cars are also modified from the factory, and reliability and fuel economy is taking a major hit with the modern diesel powered units unfortunately in the pursuit of performance.
So back to the Fabia discussion, it is a half decent car all round at most things, but should never be compared with a hot hatch performance wise, as standard it is way way off the mark, it is in the realms of the Fiesta Zetec-S and Saxo VTR, so that's where it should stay.
I recently just got rid of a tuned TDI for something a bit quicker, but one thing I will say is that I never lost MPG when I tuned it, it got better with a remap and breathing mods, then was reduced to normal with different injectors.
It didn't handle well and it didn't stop well, but it was pretty quick in a straight line and particularly up hills it took some beating.
It made a lot of sense when doing some miles, and it cost peanuts to tune (50bhp for less than £500 is pretty good, as it was then running at 150% power compared to standard).
Plus because it was a simple old style diesel (Rover 25 L series engine), it was rock solid even running higher power.
Standard vs standard the Civic is obviously quicker, but you don't need to spend a whole lot on the Fabia for it to get pretty close (straight line speed anyway). I've had quite a few quick petrols, including a CTR, and now have a Golf GT TDI 150 - pretty much the same unit as the Fabia, and after a £250 remap it now runs at 190bhp and 292 torque, and still returns 45 mpg, so it doesn't take a whole lot to get there. And when I had my Civic, I found out any real gains in power don't come cheap!
If people want to tune diesels, I say let them. There are some really high strung petrol owners out there who refuse to believe anything TDI can be quick, and that is their choice, but it doesn't make it true.
I was shocked last time I went to Crail and saw some of the tuned dervs running there. And for the last comment, the Furby I saw there had a bigger turbo, remap exhaust and breathing mods, and ran a 1/4mile in 14 seconds flat. Not too bad for a slow old diesel giving 45mpg.
And yes, I do realise that is tuned VS standard, but at the end of the day, if you only want hot hatch performance, but prefer the delivery method of a diesel, then why not? Each to their own. If you are after proper speed, then it's always going to make sense to opt for petrol, but don't be fooled into thinking that hot hatches are beyond tuned diesels in performance, because they aren't.
If I was going to take my car to a track or rag it like I stole it everywhere, then no doubt I'd get something that handled well, went well and sounded good, but since I want to drive to and from work each day in traffic most the time, I just want something with enough power under foot to have some fun if I feel like it, but get good running costs and be comfortable first and foremost. I'm happy to drive a fettled diesel because it suits me, no right or wrong about it, just down to what you prioritise.