This November, the Skoda Rapid will turn seven years old, and it is still at least three years away from a full model change. An educated guess is that it will need a second facelift to keep its head above the water until the second-gen model arrives in 2021 or later appealing with all new exterior and tech. The Rapid currently does between 800 and 900 units a month, whereas rivals from Maruti, Honda and Hyundai manage multiples of that quite easily.
IAB’s artist Shoeb Kalania has penned a rendering showing his depiction of the 2019 Skoda Rapid. The refreshed model borrows cues from the yet-to-be-revealed Skoda Vision RS design, the production version of which (new Fabia) has already leaked on Czech web circles. The new European Fabia will go on sale early next year as per media reports, so any global facelift would likely follow the guidelines set by it.
Like the design study that will debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the new Skoda Rapid features triangular headlights with LED technology. The lower air intake and fog lamps similarly occupy less real estate for a sleek look. The front bumper and the double-spoke alloy wheels are also new. The interior should remain mostly as is, save for new textiles, colours and ‘Simply Clever’ features.
Currently, the Skoda Rapid is available with two engine options: 1.6-litre MPI petrol and 1.5-litre TDI diesel. The petrol engine is a naturally aspirated four-cylinder unit that produces 105 PS and 153 Nm of torque. The diesel engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder unit, develops 110 PS and 250 Nm of torque.
If it does not invest to upgrade current engines to BS6 standards, Skoda could introduce the locally manufactured 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine that will power all MQB A0 IN platform-based models, on the Rapid facelift. The BSVI-compliant turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine could produce 110 PS and 200 Nm of torque. Road testing of this engine in the Czech automaker’s most affordable sedan has reportedly commenced, spy shots revealed last month.
The first generation Skoda Rapid may receive its final minor model change in the second half of 2019.