Skoda India has confirmed that it will discontinue the Rapid in our market soon, replacing it with a slightly more premium sedan
Skoda is currently developing a new mid-size sedan for the Indian market, expected to be named either ‘Slavia’ or ‘Laura’. This upcoming vehicle has been spied multiple times during road tests on our streets, and is slated to be unveiled towards the end of this year, as revealed recently by the company.
Zac Hollis, Director of Sales, Service & Marketing at Skoda India, recently replied to a query on Twitter, thus giving us the debut timeline of the upcoming sedan. Replying to a separate query, he also revealed that the Rapid will be discontinued soon, although the window for the end of its production hasn’t been set yet. Previously, it was believed that the new sedan would co-exist with the Rapid, but that won’t really be the case.
He also stated that the supply of spare parts for the Rapid will continue for at least 15 years after the production stops. As for Skoda’s upcoming sedan, it will be built on the MQB A0 IN platform, which also underpins the soon-to-launch Kushaq SUV. The styling of the vehicle seems to draw inspiration from the new-generation Rapid, which is currently on sale in a few global markets.
We will not launch a new Rapid. We will unveil at the end of the year a new mid sized sedan that will be positioned above the current Rapid.
— Zac Hollis (@Zac_Hollis_) June 20, 2021
The new sedan will be larger in size than the India-spec Rapid, which should result in a significant gain in interior space. It will also be more premium, offering a lot more equipment and features. Spy pictures have revealed that it would get a two-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the same as other new Skoda models.
Other features expected to be available on the new model include a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, connected car tech, sunroof, wireless smartphone charger, ventilated seats, a fully digital instrument cluster, premium leatherette upholstery, up to six airbags, etc. Also, the upcoming Skoda sedan will likely get the same engine and transmission choices as the Kushaq.
The base engine would be a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol motor (115 PS/175 Nm), which would be available with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. A 1.5-litre turbo-petrol motor (150 PS/250 Nm) would be optional on higher trims, offered with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG.
While the official unveiling is slated for end-2021, the launch is expected to happen sometime during early-2022. Upon launch, the new Skoda midsize sedan will compete with Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Ciaz, and even Volkswagen’s upcoming Vento replacement.