The new Skoda sedan for India will not use the Rapid nameplate, and it will be larger than the outgoing model
Skoda India has been entrusted by Volkswagen to lead the R&D activities for Group’s products for the domestic market. The Czech automaker’s Pune technical center has been working intensely for the past couple of years in localizing VW’s MQB A0 IN platform which will form the backbone of both VW and Skoda’s medium-term product strategies for the country.
New Skoda sedan for India coming next year
Existing Skoda Rapid sedan which is based on the VW Vento has been here for quite sometime (around 10 years) and is overdue for replacement. Responding to a Twitter user’s query on whether the new Rapid is slated for launch in 2021, Skoda India’s Director for sales, service and marketing, replied that the company will not have a new Rapid for India.
Instead, Skoda will be launching a larger sedan based on the MQB A0 (IN) platform towards the end of 2021. It remains to be seen if this new sedan will replace the existing Rapid or sold along-side the new-gen larger sedan.
Existing Rapid has good demand, and Zac Hollis had stated a few weeks back that they have huge order backlog. Just like the Honda, which is selling the old gen and new gen City in India at the same time, Skoda could also do the same. City sales have received a boost since both old and new gen are on sale together.
Not much is known about the new sedan in question but we expect it to adopt India-specific design language like the upcoming Vision IN concept-based compact crossover. One can except unmistakable Skoda identity characterized by taut surfaces and defined lines. We expect the interior and equipment level to have a lot in common with the upcoming Creta rival.
The MQB A0 IN platform is expected to offer a range of TSI turbocharged direct injection petrol engines. The new Skoda sedan for India is likely to adopt the 1.0-liter TSI and 1.5-liter TSI motors with the latter producing around 150 hp. Both manual and automatic transmissions are expected to be on offer.
The new Skoda sedan will be pitted against the latest Honda City which has grown in size significantly over the last two iterations. City is also the best selling car in segment today. While there is no official confirmation yet, it is reasonable to expect the Skoda sedan in question to spawn a Volkswagen sedan too. Whether or not VW decides to retain the Vento nameplate for the new product or come up with a new branding like Skoda is unclear as of now.
Skoda India considering more body styles
Responding to another Twitter user who asked if Skoda India is considering a sub-compact SUV or a premium hatchback, Hollis confirmed that there won’t be any such product in 2021, but the company is still discussing future body styles for India.
VW and Skoda’s India 2.0 campaign will kick start with the launch of VW Taigun and production version of Skoda Vision IN sometime in the first half of 2021. Skoda also has confirmed to launch new Octavia sedan and Kodiaq SUV in 2021. Both will come as CKD.