The India-bound 2020 Skoda Rapid recently made its world debut at a media event held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The all-new model comes with a fresh design and a host of other significant updates. In this story, we compare the 2020 Skoda Rapid with the 2017 Skoda Rapid, both Russian-spec cars.
The Skoda Rapid retains its liftback body and draws inspiration from the Skoda Scala for its fresh design. The front and rear fascias are now nearly identical to those of the latter.
The oddly shaped, halogen headlamps have been replaced by arrow-shaped, LED headlights. The bumper now has sharp cuts to have some good amount of expression as opposed to the Russian doll-look look before. The hexagonal radiator grille is in a new design that makes the car look wider and flatter for a sportier styling. The fog lamps are sleeker and mounted higher up. The hood bears new crease lines and is in line with the more aggressive character at the front.
The profile looks more or less the same because of the very similar proportions and surfaces. The 16-inch alloy wheels come in a fresh design. The rear-end looks finally looks appealing, thanks to thoe L-shaped combination lamps with LED brake lights, the new bumper with sharp cuts and the redesigned tailgate with wide-spaced 'SKODA' lettering in the centre.
On the inside, the changes introduced are equally startling. The 2020 Skoda Rapid flaunts a neatly designed dashboard, Bolero infotainment screen with a floating-type 8-inch display, new steering wheel, new centre console and ambient lighting for the footwell, centre console, door handles and the door storage compartments. Also new is the instrument panel, a fully-digital unit like the one of the Skoda Scala.
The HVAC vents have been redesigned. The central vents which were centrally positioned above the infotainment screen now sit in the middle. Skoda has thrown in two USB-C ports also for the tech-savvy, in the centre console. The only thing that looks dated here is the climate control system, because of its green backlight. Like in the 2020 Skoda Octavia, there's an option for a luxurious 2-spoke steering wheel.
In terms of the mechanical tech-specs, things remain relatively unchanged. The engine options, transmission choices and the drivetrain layout are the same.
Russian-spec 2020 Skoda Rapid - Mechanical Configurations:
- 90 PS 1.6L MPI naturally aspirated petrol engine, 5-speed MT, FWD
- 110 PS 1.6L MPI naturally aspirated petrol engine, 5-speed MT, FWD
- 110 PS 1.6L MPI naturally aspirated petrol engine, 6-speed AT, FWD
- 125 PS 1.4L TSI turbocharged petrol engine, 7-speed DSG, FWD
For the record, this the same mechanical configuration which has been carried over from the last-gen model. Even the transmission options remain unaltered.
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In India, the next-gen Skoda Rapid will employ a 1.0 TSI turbocharged petrol engine which will be good enough to deliver 115 PS of maximum power and 250 Nm of torque. The Indian-spec model will be based on the MQB AO IN platform and will be launched in 2021. Externally, its design will likely be highly similar to the Russian- and China-spec models.