Skoda will not replace Rapid sedan but will launch a larger sedan based on MQB-A0 platform

Skoda has a few launches lined-up for the Indian market in 2021. The biggest launch from the brand will be the production version of the Vision IN, which will take on the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and the likes. Skoda India’s Director of Sales, Service and Marketing – Zac Hollis has confirmed that India will not get the all-new Skoda Rapid in 2021. Instead, the Indian market will get an all-new sedan that will be bigger than the Rapid.

Skoda Rapid1
For reference only

Without divulging into the details, Zac Hollis replied to a question on Twitter by saying that Skoda will launch a bigger than Rapid sedan in 2021. The current Rapid, which is at the end of its life cycle will get discontinued. However, Skoda may also continue to offer the current version of the Rapid with the all-new sedan that will get a different name too.

According to Hollis, Skoda is developing the sedan based on the MQB-A0-IN platform. This platform is derived from the MQB and is specific to the Indian market for now. The first vehicle to utilise the low-cost MQB platform will be the production version of the Vision IN mid-size SUV. Skoda is currently heading the India 2.0 strategy to increase the market share of the Volkswagen Group in India.

All-new Skoda sedan

Rapid 1

Skoda has followed the strategy of keeping the old car and its upgrade on sale simultaneously in the Indian market before. While Skoda launched the new Octavia in the international market, it was launched as the Laura in India while the older Octavia remained on sale. Recently, Honda followed the same strategy by keeping the older four-generation City on sale and launching the all-new fifth-generation City. Honda has posted a rise in the sales chart for the City following this strategy.

Zac Hollis said a few days ago that Skoda has enough backlog order for the Rapid and the car enjoys a good reputation in India. The current version of the Rapid is based on the Volkswagen Vento’s platform, which is now a decade-old product.

Made for India?

Just like the Vision IN, the all-new sedan from Skoda is likely to be India-focussed. Since Skoda will develop the car on a blank sheet, it is likely that the vehicle will get design and features that will suit the Indian market and will attract more customers. However, Skoda’s identity and characteristic DNA will present in the all-new sedan.

Skoda is yet to provide details of the car officially so it is safe to assume that the new car will get only petrol engine options. There are likely to be two engine options. The 1.0-litre turbocharged engine will be available with the lower variants while an optional high-performance 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine can be launched too. Skoda will offer both manual and automatic transmission options with the all-new sedan.

Skoda can also add optional CNG to the upcoming car. It will also offer a slew of features and technologies to take on the rivals. Currently, the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna are the two most loaded vehicles in the segment and offer a few unique features. We may get to see the Skoda’s new vehicle offering a few first-in-segment features too.