Skoda has plans to launch a CNG option on Rapid – This will help consumers to counter the rising cost in petrol / diesel
The strict emission standards set by BS6 norms have been a death knell for many diesel engines in India. Therefore, when the BS6 norms kicked on April 1 last year, many automakers had to pull the plug on their popular diesel-powered models. One of them was Skoda Rapid powered by a 1.5-litre TDI diesel unit.
Not only was the diesel unit punchy but it was also extremely frugal which gave owners the perfect balance between performance and fuel efficiency. In the BS6 era, Rapid gets a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI turbo petrol unit which is considered to be one of the most powerful and torque in its segment.
New CNG Variant
While petrol engine has been able to justify the performance quotient of the car, unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case in its fuel economy. Turbocharged petrol engines have been guilty of swallowing a lot more fuel than their naturally aspirated petrol or turbo-diesel counterparts.
Add to that the exorbitant rise in fuel prices has also been a point of concern for future car buyers. Taking cognizance of the matter, Skoda has decided to work on launching a Rapid CNG option.
A few months back, test mule of Rapid was spotted in a CNG refueling station in Pune indicating that the Czech automaker might be planning to introduce a CNG option in future. Now, Director of Skoda India, Zac Hollis, has confirmed in an impromptu social media interaction that the company is indeed testing a CNG variant of the mid-size sedan.
With segment rivals such as Ciaz and Yaris also readying a mileage-centric CNG variant, this seems to be a smart move by Skoda in order to widen its consumer base. In addition to this, Skoda has also confirmed the launch of 4 new cars in 2021. These are likely Kushaq, a new sedan bigger than Rapid, Octavia and Kodiaq.
CNG version of the 1.0-litre TSI motor is already available on several European markets. The same specifications are expected to be offered in India too. Going by the specifications of the Euro-spec model, Rapid CNG witnesses a significant drop in power output. In the CNG form, the 1.0-litre TSI unit generates only 89 bhp as opposed to 109 bhp produced in the standard-spec model. The loss in power is, however, made up for with its excellent fuel efficiency figures.
Future Skoda Sedan
We expect further details to be furnished in the coming months ahead of its launch. Meanwhile, Skoda has confirmed that the company is working on a new mid-size sedan that will be longer than Rapid and will most likely be based on the India-specific MQB A0 IN platform.
This sedan is expected to be launched in India sometime later this year. Rapid, on the other hand, has been in the market for almost a decade without any major upgrades and it is unlikely to get some in the near future as well. It is not clear if this new sedan will replace the Rapid or will it be sold alongside the current Rapid.