Skoda has released initial details and photos for their all-new Rapid compact sedan that sits between the Fabia and the Octavia models. The new model was conceptualized by the MissionL concept at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The Rapid is the first model to show Skoda's new design language. With the exception of the front lamps, door handles, and roof panel, the Rapid appears identical to the MissionL concept.
In short, it is a car permitting mobility in a comfortable, reasonably priced and environmentally friendly package. The right car at the right time,” says Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland.
The Rapid rides on a stretched version of the current VW Polo’s platform architecture and measures 4.48 metres long and 1.7 metres wide. With the Octavia measuring 4.57 m (L) by 1.77m (W), the new Rapid is pretty close in size to its bigger brother.
It comes equipped with a tailgate that lifts together with the rear window, revealing a boot with 500 Liters of space. Skoda has not commented on the available powerplants, but the company did say that the Rapid will launch in Europe with five petrol and two diesel engines. I believe that the base Rapid will be equipped with the 1.2-litre TSI engine with the range-topper being powered by VW Group’s renowned 1.4-litre ‘Twincharger’.
The Rapid is an A segment vehicle which currently accounts for approximately 36% of the world's automobile market. Within this class, sedans account for about 42% of the sales. According to industry experts, A segment sedan’s sales will rise by about 50% by year 2020.
Followed by its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in September, the Rapid will have its market launch in Europe from autumn 2012.