2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift caught testing undisguised; could receive substantial styling changes while retaining same engine line-up
The facelifted version of the Skoda Rapid has been spied running trials by MotorBeam. The undisguised pictures of the test mule were snapped in a blurry manner but they were just enough to justify the changes the 2016 MY of the sedan might have when it’s officially introduced. More likely to be launched in the latter half of 2016,the refreshed Rapid will have to enter in a tough battle ground with the likes of the top-selling Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City, Hyundai Fluidic Verna and the Volkswagen Vento.
In a keen competition wise, the Maruti Ciaz outperformed the former segment leader Honda City in last month’s sales chart. Both have the capacity to sell over 6,000 units every month but behind them the segment is divided with Verna running strong ahead of Vento and the existing Rapid.
With nothing much to choose between the Vento and Rapid, the latter endured a highly fluctuating 2015 as its best sales was registered in December with 1,225 units whilst the least favourable month was April with 780 examples retailed. Therefore, to stabilise the sales numbers the Skoda Rapid has to do more than just having to attract customers with its external appearance.
The test mule spotted in white colour emphasises more than just a mid-cycle refresh model as the cosmetic changes have been quite prominent. The front fascia is fitted with a new head lamp cluster and lights, redesigned bumper, restyled fenders and the grille housing Skoda emblem and most importantly a new bonnet.
The sharper bodywork with the clean outlook goes on to say that the Czech Republican automaker has been trying to follow the lines of the brand’s global design language. The modifications to the exterior will be followed by the tweaks to the cabin design with an added equipment list.
Skoda launched the new Superb a few days back for the Indian market with equipment add-ons, updated engine, latest design and improved cabin space at a price starting from Rs. 22.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). With the C-segment Rapid expected to arrive during the festival season, Skoda could opt to stay put with the same engine line-up.
The 1.6-litre petrol develops 104 bhp at 5,250 rpm and 153 Nm at 3,800 rpm whilst the 1.5-litre diesel produces 104 bhp at 4,400 rpm and 250 Nm at 1,500 rpm. Both engines have options of five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. The base price of the existing Rapid starts at Rs. 7.71 lakh and the range-topping variant costs Rs. 11.86 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom Delhi).