The previous Skoda Rapid has been on sale in the Indian domestic market since 2011, and in past 9 years of, the sedan has only been given one facelift in 2017. However, a few months ago, Skoda Auto launched the BS6-compliant Rapid in the market, with no major changes to the design whatsoever. Now, the company has already confirmed that a replacement for the Skoda Rapid with new generation will be launched soon.
Here is the list of things that you need to know about the new generation:
It must be noted that the new upcoming model is based on two different versions, one, that we get in India is based on the PQ25 platform that is a cost-effective, other one, that is the foreign-spec model is based on the PQ35 platform. This makes the latter slightly larger in dimensions as compared to the India-spec model. The new-gen is inspired from the Skoda Scala hatchback and the Octavia sedan.
Moreover, the new-gen (internally codenamed ANB) will be based on the heavily localized MQB A0 IN architecture, which is also being used by the Volkswagen Group for developing a host of cars.
While, the company had revealed the new-gen in Russia last year, but, it is yet to be find if its the same model that the automaker will be bringing to the Indian market next year. Profile looks similar to the India-spec model, except it features a longer hood, roofline and new alloy wheels too in side profile. It gets the same a 3D butterfly radiator grille covered with a chrome embellish, flanked by L-shaped projector headlamps with LED DRLs.
We expect of all these changes that being made to the new model that will be brought to India soon. At the back, the 2021 Rapid is expected to feature new angular LED taillights. Also, just like new Skoda cars, the manufacturer’s badging at the rear are going to be replaced with the Skoda branding, placed on the boot lid.
The new-gen Rapid is expected to be packed with a host of new interior features including a fully-digital ‘Virtual Cockpit’ instrument cluster, ambient lighting along with a large 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system (6.5-inch on the lower variants) with smartphone connectivity, connected-car tech, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control, auto headlamps, auto wipers, rear AC vents, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, leatherette upholstery, rear-centre armrest, infrared-cut glass for the windows and screens and so on.
On the safety aspect, the new sedan comes with rear parking camera, four airbags, ABS with EBD, Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Program. We expect the new model to retain these safety features, while also add in some new ones.
While it is too early to speculate on engine specs, the Rapid has previously also been offered with a diesel powertrain, but since the said engine was not upgraded to comply with the BS6 emission norms, it stands discontinued. We expect Skoda to carry forward this decision with the next-gen Rapid too, and while it will come equipped with an updated 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol TSI unit that belts out 110 PS of maximum power, with 175 Nm of peak torque. The transmission duties are being handled by a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard for now, however, Skoda plans to launch an optional auto transmission very soon. We don't expect the inclusion of an optional oil burner at the time of the launch.
Price & Rivals
Currently, the new-gen is retailed at a beginning price of Rs 7.49 ( ex-showroom) lakh for the entry-level Rider variant, which goes up to Rs 11.79 lakh (ex-showroom) for the top-end Monte Carlo trim. Moreover, the model’s price might be slightly increased because of having better features than the previous one.
After launch, the 2021 Rapid will retain its rivalry with the Honda City, Volkswagen Vento, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Verna as well as the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.