Skoda has officially named their upcoming sedan as the Rapid. Production of the Rapid has already begun at Skoda’s Chakkan plant and the launch is slated for the first week of November. Finally, the Czech brand is bringing a proper replacement for its Octavia, a successful sedan, the company discontinued from the market couple of years ago.
The Rapid was expected to take design cues from the Mission L Concept which in turn is loosely based on the Vision D concept. However we now have images of the actual production model which looks more like its inspired from the Skoda Fabia. Here’s a quick launch preview for the Skoda Rapid.
The Rapid looks a lot like the Skoda Fabia from the front. It uses the same design for the headlamps and the front grille too is like that seen on the Fabia small car.
The profile the concept resembles its Volkswagen cousins (Jetta, Vento) at the front and even the square bracket-like tail lamps resemble those of the Volkswagen Vento and Laura. The pronounced wheel arches and chunky alloy wheels add a muscular flair to the car.
The Rapid will have a structure similar to its Volkswagen cousin, the Vento. With regard to comfort, we can assume that since Vento and the Rapid will have the same underpinnings, leg room, headroom and shoulder room too will be similar. The Vento has good leg room at the rear, plenty of storage and cubby holes including the huge glove box. We expect these aspects in the Skoda sedan as well.
Can the Rapid take on the competition?
Skoda will offer its sedan in both diesel and petrol variants, hence fuel conscious buyers may find the upcoming Skoda diesel more appealing than its key rival, the Honda City petrol.
Fit and finish will be at par with the competition and hence it will be difficult to gauge the winner here. Another rival is the Hyundai Fluidic Verna and if Skoda has to attract potential Verna buyers, it has to equip the sedan with at least as many features as the Verna.
There are little clues about what features the Rapid will have but we expect climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted audio controls, rear AC vents, fog lamps, electric mirrors, keyless entry, push-button start, folding rear seats, airbags, ABS and EBD.
We can expect the Rapid to be priced in the range of Rs. 6.5-10.5 lakh. Skoda cars are priced slightly lower than their Volkswagen cousins hence the Rapid too may be priced lower than its Vento equivalents. This will make the Skoda saloon more ‘value for money’ than the Volkswagen Vento.
Skoda has taken a long time to launch a replacement for its successful Octavia sedan. Hence, expect the Czech car maker to make no mistake in providing its upcoming sedan with contemporary features and at a competitive price. The only interesting part will be to see what happens to the sales of Vento, if the market has a more stylish, feature-rich car with the same engines as the Vento at a lower price.
*Prices mentioned are estimates and may vary