A few days ago, we reported to you about Skoda registering few new car names in India with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Now, a new listing on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's Patent Design and Trademarks website says that Skoda Auto has also trademarked the name 'Slavia' in India. According to the listing, the new name is for an "automobile and their parts and accessories." We believe that this could be the official name of the replacement of the Skoda Rapid sedan in India.
The current-gen Rapid has been on sale in India for almost a decade now. Although Skoda has been updating the model with facelifts all along, it never got a generation update. Skoda is now working on a replacement for the Rapid in India and it has been codenamed the ANB sedan. Although Skoda has already debuted the next-gen Rapid for markets abroad, it remains to be seen if that's the very model that makes it to India as well. As for the name 'Slavia', it has a certain history with the Czech carmaker. Slavia was the name of the first motorized bicycle that was manufactured by Václav Laurin and Václav Klement , founders of the Skoda company, back in 1899.
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More recently, in July 2020, Skoda even used the Slavia name for the 7th Skoda Student Concept Car. Commemorating the company's first vehicle, the Skoda Slavia was a two-door open-top roadster that was designed by 31 students attending the renowned Skoda vocational school. The Skoda Slavia was based on the Skoda Scala, again a replacement for the Rapid Spaceback in Europe. The Rapid replacement for India will be a part of VW Group's India 2.0 Project, and like several other cars under this strategy, it too will be underpinned by the heavily localized MQB AO IN platform.
However, the Rapid replacement (or Skoda Slavia) could still be some time away. It was originally planned for a debut in 2021 but it now could be pushed to 2022, thanks to disruptions and delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Skoda anyway have their hands quite full for next year. They will be concentrating their efforts on the next-gen Skoda Octavia and the production-spec Vision IN, both of which are set to launch next year. There could even be facelift for the Karoq and some more products could be in the pipeline, given Skoda's recent trade filings.
So the current-gen Skoda Rapid will soldier on for some more time before it is replaced by 2022. It is currently offered with a 1.0L TSI turbo-petrol engine that produces 110hp and 175N of torque. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Skoda have said that the 1.0L TSI engine will be the bread and butter engine for the India 2.0 Project, and so we expect this engine to be offered on the next-gen sedan as well.
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