- ŠKODA is resolutely continuing its model offensive. The Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris saw the world debut of the new ŠKODA Rapid compact saloon. With modest exterior dimensions and lots of space in the interior and in the boot, the ŠKODA Rapid sets standards in the compact saloon segment. The brand's most recent model line has a central importance for the company's growth strategy and will be launched successively in European markets from October of this year.
"In launching the ŠKODA Rapid, we are igniting the next stage of the ŠKODA model offensive," says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland. "This car is an important pillar of our 2018 growth strategy. It will become our largest volume model after the Octavia."
The ŠKODA Rapid impresses with lots of room, an expressive design, an excellent price-value ratio, comprehensive safety equipment and efficient engines. "Rolling up in the Rapid is ŠKODA's new class in every respect," says Vahland. This car sets new standards in its class. "The Rapid is a compact saloon, but one that offers estate-car qualities with its 550 litres of boot volume and additional foldable back seat rests. Space offering, flexibility and lots of car for your money, this is typical of ŠKODA," says Vahland.
The Rapid complements the brand's current model palette in between the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Octavia, making it at home in the high-volume compact segment. This so-called A segment currently accounts for 36 per cent of the world's automobile market. Within this class of vehicle, saloons have a share of 42 per cent. Industry expert think the number of cars of this type sold worldwide will rise by about 50 per cent by 2020.
The ŠKODA Rapid will run off the line in Mladá Boleslav as the third model besides the Fabia and Octavia. ŠKODA is currently modernising and expanding essential production areas at its main plant to accommodate production of the Rapid and the future Octavia. Capacity of line no. 1 at Mladá Boleslav is to be raised in steps from 800 to 1,200 vehicles per day.
The Rapid will also be produced and sold in country-specific versions in China and Russia. Market launch in China will be in 2013. In early 2014, production of the Russian Rapid will begin at Volkswagen's plant in Kaluga, Russia. Also, an Indian variant of the Rapid has been achieving success in the local market since late 2011. Since launch, more than 16,700 have been delivered to customers in India.
Ample space at an affordable price
The Rapid is the new standard for spaciousness in its class. Despite its compact exterior dimensions (4.48 m in length, 1.71 m in width, 1.46 m in height), the car will seat up to five occupants in comfort. The Rapid also boasts best-in-class figures for rear knee and head room. At 550 litres, baggage space is also the best in the segment.
In marketing the Rapid, ŠKODA is especially focusing on families. Says Werner Eichhorn, who became the new board member for sales and marketing on September 1st: "Looking at the space offering and the large tailgate, the car's flexibility is unbeatable. The Rapid is a real ŠKODA, families will love it."
Simply clever: the car with an ice scraper inside the filler flap
Its outstanding space offering makes the new model line a "Simply Clever" car through and through. The Rapid impresses with up to 19 brand-typical "Simply Clever" solutions. One that is an especially ingenious example of a simple and effective solution is the ice scraper inside the filler flap, giving the ice scraper a fixed place for the first time and ending the sometimes-annoying search for it in wintertime. Also on offer from ŠKODA for the first time is an optional flippable floor covering for the boot. In addition, a convenient receptacle beneath the driver seat will hold the warning vest. A rubbish bin in the side door makes for a tidy interior. Beyond these premieres, of course, the Rapid sports a number of other tried and true clever features such as a multimedia holder, a ticket holder, various cup holders, net pockets on the insides of the front seats and an optional netting programme for the car's spacious boot.
The new ŠKODA design: clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant
The Rapid is the first ŠKODA series car ever to fully feature the brand's new design language. "The new design is clear, precise, fresh and emotional," says Frank Welsch, newly appointed board member for technical development.
Perfect proportions, clear and cleanly modelled surfaces and sharply drawn lines create an attractive overall appearance. The front end shows a new take on ŠKODA-typical design elements. The new brand logo confidently stands out on the harmonically rounded front edge of the bonnet. The grille shows a finely drawn chrome frame and is shaped by vertical slats. The headlights are grouped around the ŠKODA Rapid's front end to form a cloverleaf shape.
The side of the body conveys pure emotion thanks to a long wheelbase and coupe-like silhouette, and also to a precise and clear-cut tornado line which creates a clear division between light and shadow. At the rear, the estate-like large tailgate permits optimum loading of the boot. Also, expressively shaped taillights with their brand-typical C design and the new brand logo contribute to the ŠKODA Rapid being immediately recognisable.
Comprehensive active and passive safety packages
The ŠKODA Rapid is big on active and passive safety. ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is standard in EU countries. A long wheelbase, precise suspension and stiff body structure form the basis for stable driving dynamics. Features available as an option such as a tyre pressure monitor, fog-lamps with "cornering" function and the "Hill-Hold Control" assistant further raise the car's level of active safety. Passive safety includes occupants being protected against an impact by a comprehensive package including six airbags in the front, side and head areas, height-adjustable 3-point safety belts with tighteners. The car's stiff body makes for excellent deformation behaviour in an accident.
Efficient petrol and diesel engines
In Europe, the Rapid is available with a choice of four petrol and two diesel engines, all of them EU 5-compliant. The 55 kW (75 HP) 1.2 l three-cylinder MPI is the entry-level petrol engine. Other petrol engines on offer are the 63 kW (86 HP) 1.2 l TSI, the 77 kW (105 HP) 1.2 l TSI and the 90 kW (122 HP) 1.4 l TSI.
The 1.6 litre diesel engine features common-rail injection, is fitted with a particulate-matter filter and comes in two power versions. The basic version puts out 66 kW (90 HP) and will be available from the second half of 2013. As an option, it can be combined with the seven-speed DSG automated transmission. The more powerful 1.6 TDI CR puts out 77 kW (105 PS).