Skoda’s Rapid replacement will be based on the MQB A0 IN platform with high local content; to be powered by 1.0-litre BSVI petrol engine
Skoda has taken the charge for the India 2.0 project that will act as a revival phase for Volkswagen Group’s sales fortunes in the domestic market. We already know that Skoda is bringing in a mid-size SUV based on the MQB A0 IN platform in the middle of 2021 as confirmed by Zac Hollis, Skoda Auto India’s Head of Sales, Service & Marketing recently.
As for immediate plans, Skoda is focussing on launching the Karoq early next year. However, it won’t be based on the heavily localised architecture as the domestic-spec Kamiq and Volkswagen will also enter the mid-size space an SUV – more specially the India-spec version of the T-Cross already sold globally. It will more likely launch in 2021 as well as VW Group aims at launching one new model every six months.
It must be noted that the third and fourth models lined up are the replacements of Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid and they beg the question that, is Volkswagen Group too late for the segment in terms of introducing a big upgrade? According to a recent report emerged on the internet, Skoda’s Chief Executive Officer, Bernhard Maier, told that a notchback is being prepared for India confirming the previous rumours.
The report contradicts Zac Hollis’ tweet that the mid-size SUV will go on sale in mid-2021 as it will be available as early as next year. The Rapid replacement will follow up as the fourth model under the India 2.0 project and commenting on the sidelines of the ongoing Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, Maier said that the feedback from customer clinics has been “promising” for them.
Just as the India-spec Kamiq, the successor of the Rapid will carry heavy local content and Maier was quoted saying “We are now at a level of around 92-95 per cent”. The initial focus for the C-segment sedan will obviously be on Indian customers and observing the demand for a similar product elsewhere, Skoda will export the model.
It is no secret that the Rapid and Vento replacements will have several commonalities including sharing of components and powertrains to keep the production costs in check but their essence and character will be different. The Skoda sedan is said to have a unique front fascia and will derive power from a 1.0-litre petrol engine with BSVI compliance.