European Skoda Rapid may be India’s next Octavia

Skoda has unveiled the new Rapid for the European market. The Europe-bound Rapid borrows the styling cues of the Mission L concept sedan that Skoda showcased at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

Skoda will showcase the new Rapid at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and will go on sale in Europe by this year end. This car may hit Indian market by 2013 and will likely bring back the Octavia brand in India.

Photo: European Skoda Rapid may become India's next Octavia

The European Rapid looks stylish and has a sporty road stance like the Mission L concept. The hood gets crease lines that add muscle to the executive sedan. Dimensionally, the European Rapid measures 4.8 m in length and 1.7 m in width and hence is significantly bigger than the Indian Rapid (4.3 m length and 1.6 m width).

The European Rapid is expected to come in seven engine options consisting of five petrol engines and two diesel engines. The engines will be mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Features and specifications of the new Rapid are not yet revealed.

Photo: European Skoda Rapid's rear looks familiar

Skoda’s sedan lineup in India includes the Rapid, Laura and the Superb. The Rapid occupies the Rs. 7 lakh – Rs. 9.50 lakh range while the Laura is priced in the Rs. 13 lakh – Rs. 18 lakh price range. If the European Rapid comes into the Indian market as the Octavia, it may be price-positioned between the existing Indian Rapid and the Laura in the Rs. 10 lakh – Rs. 15 lakh price range.

But we don’t expect this to happen anytime soon. Not before end 2013 at least.