New-Generation Skoda Rapid To Launch In India Next Year

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The new-gen model of the Skoda Rapid will be underpinned by the ‘MQB A0 IN’ platform, replacing the PQ25 platform of the current version

Skoda Rapid is the Czech manufacturer’s most affordable vehicle in the Indian market, and just a few months ago, it was updated to meet the BS6 emission norms. The older 1.6-litre diesel and 1.6-litre petrol engines were discontinued, and a new 1.0-litre turbo-petrol was introduced, which generates 110 PS and 175 Nm of peak power and torque, respectively. Apart from that, the vehicle essentially remained unchanged.

The current-generation model was introduced back in 2011, and apart from a facelift in 2017, nothing much has changed on it. Thankfully, Zac Hollis, Director of Sales, Service & Marketing, Skoda Auto India, has confirmed that the Czech carmaker is working on a new-generation model of the Rapid. The new-gen model will be based on the VW group’s heavily localised ‘MQB A0 IN’ platform, and is expected to launch before the end of 2021.

The upcoming next-gen Rapid will bear a strong resemblance to the Skoda Scala. The front fascia is essentially the same, with triangular headlamps and a vertically slatted front grille. The front bumper features wide air dam, with faux lip spoiler underneath. At the rear, we see inverted L-shaped taillights and ‘SKODA’ lettering on the tailgate.

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The current model gets a lot of features, like auto headlamps, auto wipers, rear AC vents, automatic climate control, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, and premium leatherette upholstery, all of which will be carried over to the new one. It will also get a touchscreen infotainment system (probably an 8-inch unit), and perhaps even a fully-digital instrument console and connected car tech.

The engine will probably be the same 1.0-litre TSI motor as the current BS6 model. We don’t expect to see a diesel option added to the range, however, there could a mild-hybrid version available. Transmission options will also be the same – a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic.

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The current-generation Skoda Rapid is priced from Rs. 7.49 lakh to Rs. 11.79 lakh. When the new one arrives, expectedly late next year (2021), it will be considerably more expensive. Its chief rivals in the Indian market will be the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Ciaz, Volkswagen Vento, and Toyota Yaris.