The very eloquent Siddharth Vinayak Patankar has finally managed to expose the much awaited Skoda Fabia sedan to the masses. On the landmark 400th episode of The Car and Bike Show on the NDTV network, SVP took the wraps off the Skoda Rapid. International Exclusive? Oh yes!
It’s called the Rapid and not the rumored Lauret or Lauretta.
A quick recap on the Skoda Rapid – Last year Skoda decided to enter the C segment market and grab a share of the increasing pie. However, for the first time in history, Skoda India was entrusted the job of designing and manufacturing this new Sedan which will also be exported to neighboring countries as well as other emerging markets.
The strategy was simple take and existing VW product, customize it to look like a ‘Skoda’ and bring it at a relatively cheaper price than VW. It was decided to use the Vento’s platform (which is essentially an extended VW Polo) to make this mysterious sedan.
There were many rumors that the design of the new Skoda sedan will be inspired from Vision D and MissionL concepts displayed at the various motorshows. There were also rumors that the new sedan will be called the Lauretta – a baby Laura. But none of those rumors were true.
Skoda decided to call the car ‘Rapid’ which was their first choice. No VisionD or MissionL styling is present on the Rapid. Just like the VW Vento is a Polo with a boot, Skoda carried over the success formula and Rapid looks like a Fabia with a boot.
The front of the Skoda Rapid features the same Leaf like headlamps from the Fabia with a wide trademark Skoda grill. The side profile of the Rapid is a little bulbous than the sister Vento. We very much like the muscular five spoke Alloys wheels that will hopefully be present in the top variant. The alloy wheel design is sort of inspired by the old Maruti Suzuki SX4.
The rear profile of the Skoda Rapid is inspired by the Skoda Laura (Skoda Octavia for our international audience). The tail lamps blend into the rear profile very well. The upper portion of the boot lid is very much lifted from the Skoda Laura.
Overall, we can say it is a commendable effort by Skoda’s design team to infuse the Skoda image in the VW Vento. The overall profile of the car does look like a ‘Fabia with a boot’ but at the same time doesn’t not hurt the eye (à la Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire).
Although there is no official information on the mechanicals of the Skoda Rapid, we have a strong feeling that it will not be very different than the VW Vento. It will be offered in the same 1.6L petrol and diesel engines along with a 5 speed manual. Skoda India may choose to mildly detune the engines to focus on fuel economy. No official information on prices is available either.
What are your thoughts of the Skoda Rapid?