The current-gen Skoda Rapid has been on sale in India for almost a decade now and is soon due for a replacement. Skoda has been working on the Rapid-replacement for India, codenamed the ANB sedan, and it has now been spotted testing on our roads. Although Skoda has already debuted the next-gen Rapid for markets abroad, this will not be the model that makes it to India. The India-spec Skoda Rapid-replacement will not only be larger and costlier than the outgoing model, it will also likely be longer than the new-gen Rapid that's on sale internationally.
Given its more premium positioning, it opens up the possibility that Skoda could be selling the new sedan right alongside the current-gen Rapid, just as Honda sells the fourth-gen and fifth-gen City alongside each other. While the upcoming sedan will not be called the Rapid, Skoda trademarked the name 'Slavia' in India sometime ago, which we believe could be the official name of the upcoming sedan. Skoda will announce the official name sometime in 2021, while the car is slated for a launch in the market by early 2022. Unsurprisingly, the upcoming Skoda sedan will also spawn a Volkswagen sibling, which will likely be the VW Virtus-based sedan - replacement of the VW Vento.
Like most upcoming Skoda/Volkswagen cars, the Skoda Slavaia will also be based on the localized MQB-A0-IN platform. Interestingly, the global-spec new-gen Rapid already has a 50mm longer wheelbase than the India-spec Rapid. The Slavia is likely to stretch the wheelbase by a further 49mm to 2,651 mm, resulting in class leading interior and room and best-in-class boot capacity of 530 liters. Like the Octavia, the new sedan will be a notchback, which means it will get a liftback tailgate. Although the test mule is heavily wrapped in camouflage in the above video, there are still some details that can be made out.
The upcoming sedan features much sharper styling, with the face characterized by the signature Skoda butterfly grille and swept-back LED headlamps. The front bumper has provisions for fog lamps and we also get a little glimpse of the tail lamps at the rear. Overall, the design is much edgier and sleeker. We also get a slight glimpse at the interior of the Skoda Slavia, and the most noteworthy takeaway is a new two-spoke steering wheel from the Kushaq. While most of the interior was under wraps, top-spec variants of the upcoming sedan will get 6-airbags, digital instrument cluster, 10-inch infotainment screen, with the overall design likely to have a resemblance with the Kushaq for a family look.
Under the hood, the Skoda Slavia will share its powertrain options with all upcoming Skoda/VW cars. That means VW Group's 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine will be the mainstay, which produces 115PS of power and 175Nm of torque. This engine will come mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Skoda will also be offering a larger 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol engine that will come mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual. This engine produces 150PS and 250Nm of peak torque. While we were really drooling over the new-gen Rapid that's sold abroad, we are now more excited for what Skoda has in store for us.