The India-spec Skoda Rapid is over seven years old, with its successor at least three years away from showroom floors. To support the ageing sedan until the arrival of the all-new model, the company plans to introduce the second facelift for its C1-segment contender in 2019.
Speaking on the facelift for the Skoda Rapid in an exclusive interaction with IndianAutosBlog.com, Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Skoda Auto India Pvt Ltd, said -
We have been doing some product actions, like you saw Onyx recently, it has got good response. We will have some powertrain updates to the car, some other minor tweaks to keep it fresh.
An educated guess is that the second facelift for the Rapid will bring in updates based on the company's latest design language. One can safely expect the refresh to offer a revised front- and rear-fascias with updated lighting elements and new bumpers. The grille should be in line with the one seen on the Skoda Scala.
At the moment, the Skoda Rapid is on sale with two engine options: 1.6-litre MPI petrol and 1.5-litre TDI diesel. The former outputs 105 PS and 153 Nm, while the latter produces 110 PS and 250 Nm. Without divulging further details, Mr Boparai has confirmed that his company plans to introduce new powertrains that will be locally manufactured.
IAB expects Skoda to replace the 1.6-litre mill with a locally produced 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine that will go on to power all the MQB-A0-IN platform-based models. The BSVI-compliant three-cylinder turbo-petrol motor will likely offer 110 PS and 200 Nm. Reportedly, local road testing of this engine is already underway. The dwindling sales of diesel-powered cars in the segment and the lack of a suitable replacement for the 1.5-litre oil-burner will result in the complete discontinuation of the diesel variant next year.
In October, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of allowing only BS6-compliant cars to be sold in India after April 1 2020, and that puts the launch of the Rapid facelift in late 2019 or early 2020.
Last month, it emerged that the MQB-AO-IN-based successor of the Skoda Rapid could co-exist with the current model. That said, IAB has been told that there won't be a significant overlap between the two models and not for a lengthy period.