2020 Skoda Rapid takes design inspiration from the new generation Octavia and it looks more appealing than the existing model
Skoda introduced the Rapid nameplate in India in November 2011 and although having a similar styling as the second-generation Fabia, the sedan has several commonalities with the Volkswagen Vento as it is based on the Volkswagen Group’s PQ25 platform. Over the years, the Rapid has not changed much except for minor updates to keep the lifecycle rolling.
The Rapid competes against Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna, Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Vento in the C-segment for sedans that has seen its popularity shrunken in recent years. Globally, Skoda has been concentrating on debuting SUVs and crossovers across different price ranges in the last three years but it has not given up on the Octavia and Superb which have remained as top sellers in Europe.
Just in 2019, the Czech Republican auto major launched the updated Superb, India-bound Kamiq, fourth-generation Octavia, Scala hatchback and electric version of Citigo. Unlike the Octavia and Superb, the Rapid’s nameplate was resurrected only for select markets including India and Russia. The brand’s Russian arm has released a couple of teaser images of the new Rapid that will likely be unveiled towards the end of this month.
It must be taken into account that the Scala replaced Rapid in some markets but the strategy could not be applied to every market as the former is a more premium alternative and is the first Skoda model to sit on the modern version of the VW’s MQB A0 platform. The teaser images of the 2020 Skoda Rapid suggests that it derives a lot of influence from the new-gen Octavia – a no surprise.
The overall silhouette of the second-gen Rapid remains the same but the split headlamp cluster is ditched in favour of a bolder and sleeker unit as the Octavia. The more prominent grille has been excessively chrome treated this time around while the redesigned front bumper possesses horizontal and sharper fog lamps along with newly designed multi-spoke alloy wheels.
The rear end has become more dynamic as the conventional C-shaped tail lamps are opted out to make way for a cooler boomerang-styled LED tail lamps with sharper tailgate structure and a reworked bumper. The interior changes are not unknown and we do hope Skoda will let us into more teasers in the coming days leading up to the global debut.
Skoda is expected to introduce a brand new Rapid (or its replacement) based on the MQB A0 IN with high localisation within the next two years. However, the existing model will likely undergo minor updates before its arrival and the design revisions seen here could largely influence the 2020 Rapid possibly bound for India as the company will be launching as many as six new models/facelifts next year.