The new Skoda Rapid was unveiled to the world at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012, and it’s due to come to Australia in 2013. The buzz is beginning. What’s the new Skoda Rapid going to be like?
(OK, all you fellow pedants out there – it’s supposed to be called a Škoda rather than a Skoda, but just in case that nice Continental Š plays havoc with people’s computer or smartphone screens and makes the article unreadable, I’m going to alternate between the two to keep everybody happy, including the search engines. But enough about language, punctuation, phonetics and diacritics and back to the good stuff again.)
The Škoda Rapid is Skoda’s entry into the small car market – or should that be re-entry? You could call it a compact car or a liftback – or just a hatchback, which is what it is: a smallish five-door hatch. Size-wise, it’s between the Octavia and the Fabia in the Skoda lineup. Like other modern hatchbacks, the Škoda Rapid doesn’t have that chopped-off look that used to characterise the hatchbacks of 20 or so years ago. Instead, there’s just the right combination of curves and chunky lines. The Škoda Rapid is a reincarnation of the Rapid that did reasonably well on the rally circuit back in the 1980s, and it still has the rear-wheel drive that makes for good handling.
However, in spite of the name, which has caused a bit of sarcasm from reviewers in the UK (but what else do you expect from the Top Gear guys and their imitators?), the Skoda Rapid is no sports car. It’s a car that’s aimed at the sector of the market that’s concerned about fuel economy and getting from A to B in something that looks smart and does the job with no nonsense. And that’s exactly what the Skoda Rapid will deliver. At the moment, it’s unclear what’s going to make it Down Under, but if the UK website is anything to go by, there are nine different engine types out there, mostly based on VW units, seeing as the design team from VW have had a bit to do with the Skoda Rapid in these days when it’s hard to keep up with which company owns who. The one that seems to have picked up the most interest is the 1.6 TDI engine, but this is only one of the many. However, the nine choices seem to be based on a 1.6 diesel engine, a 1.4 litre petrol engine and a 1.2 litre petrol engine. But at the moment for Aussie drivers wanting to get their hands on a Skoda Rapid, it’s a case of “watch this space”.
Again, if the UK is anything to go by, there will be three trim levels available: the S Hatch, the SE Hatch and the Elegance model, with the Elegance being the swishiest Škoda Rapid out there. One thing is for certain, however. Skoda has made handy little storage compartments a bit of a feature in a number of the recent models it’s produced, and the Rapid is no exception. The teasers that have reached Down Under indicate that the storage compartments will include a special pocket for your mobile phone – no more watching it flying about the place on the dash or trying to cram it into some tiny compartment or losing it in a big one. The Skoda Rapid is into big compartments, with 530 litres of luggage space available with the rear seats folded flat.
The Škoda Rapid looks as though it’s going to be a real winner with the Yummy Mummies (and the Delicious Daddies), with its blend of snappy modern looks, frugality and plenty of luggage space in one small hatchback body. Can’t wait to find out more details as we learn what sort of Škoda Rapid we’re going to get down here.
Current model series include (to be confirmed):
For any more information on the Škoda Rapid, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Skoda dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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