Next-gen Skoda Rapid Teased In Russia; India Launch Likely In 2022
Bears similarity to the Scala and Superb in design
Next-gen Rapid teased in official sketch ahead of global reveal in late 2019.
New Rapid expected to be underpinned by VW Group’s MQB A0 platform.
India launch likely to be as late as 2022.
Current Rapid gets BS4 engines, may get facelift to introduce BS6 powertrains by April 2020.
The Rapid will continue to rival the likes of the Hyundai Verna, Honda City & Maruti Ciaz.
The Skoda model portfolio has added a few new names in the past year or so while the existing models are up for updates. The Rapid is one of the carmaker’s entry-level offerings, especially in the Indian market, and the next-gen model has been teased in this latest sketch from Skoda Russia.
The Rapid was first introduced here in 2011 and was given a facelift in 2017, so it is overdue for a generation change anyway. The new Rapid sketch suggests a Scala-like front end with a similar design for the headlamps, grille and front bumper. It is expected to be underpinned by the same MQB A0 platform. This platform is being localised in the country and will underpin the Skoda and Volkswagen’s upcoming models that are part of the India 2.0 strategy, now operating under the name Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited.
The next-gen Rapid will be bigger than before as it is expected to have the same wheelbase as the Scala and the Volkswagen Virtus (Vento’s successor). Both those models are based on the MQB A0 platform with a wheelbase that measures 2650mm, which is 97mm more than the current Rapid. As a result, the second-gen Rapid will even be bigger than its current set of rivals like the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.
According to Skoda Auto Volkswagen’s India 2.0 plan, two new highly localised cars are to be added to Skoda and VW’s portfolio each - one in 2021 and the other in 2022. The first is expected to be the Skoda Kamiq/VW T-cross SUV, a rival to the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. If the second is the new-gen Rapid/Vento, it would be 2022 before it comes to India despite the global unveil scheduled for November 2019.
However, the current-spec Rapid is powered by BS4-spec petrol and diesel engines. Skoda will have to update it with BS6 powertrains by April 2020 and it may give the Rapid another facelift (similar to the Euro-spec Fabia with LED headlamps) until the new generation model arrives. In its segment, all cars except the Ciaz are due to be updated in the coming year or two as well.
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