Skoda Rapid BS6 will launch in the coming weeks, ahead of the BS6 deadline of 31st March 2020.
Though Skoda’s primary focus in the medium term is to enter the lucrative premium crossover segment with the production version of its Vision IN Concept, the long-running Rapid sedan will continue to be an important product, at least till the SUV is ready.
The Skoda Rapid Matte concept, a visually enhanced variant, is on display at the Auto Expo 2020. In addition to reminding people of its existence, the Rapid exhibit also previews the soon-to-be-launched BS6 model.
Visually, the Rapid Matte concept, as the name suggests, features a matte grey paint job which is contrasted by red rub-strips, ORVM covers and boot lid accents. The black multi-spoke alloy wheels with white rim adds to the Rapid Matte concept’s sporty appeal. Skoda could introduce the Matte concept as a special edition variant just like the Rapid Monte Carlo for a premium.+
The Skoda Rapid BS6 receives a new 1.0-liter TSI turbocharged petrol engine which is tuned to develop 115 hp and 200 Nm of torque. The new motor comes mated either to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed DSG. The existing 1.5-liter TDI diesel engine and the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter MPI petrol engine will not be receiving the BS6 upgrade.
The updated Rapid sedan has no noticeable visual changes on the outside or inside. The Rapid is one of the oldest products in an ever-shrinking mid-size sedan segment but its understated design and good driving dynamics have earned it a sizable audience base.
Internationally, the Skoda Rapid has been replaced by Scala premium hatchback which is based on the VW MQB platform. If Skoda India were to come up with a successor to the existing India-spec Rapid, the logical thing to do would be to wait till the MQB A0 IN platform is fully localized and then develop a new sedan based on it. However, with limited volume projections, we don’t see a business case for such a product.
Coming back to the Skoda Rapid BS6, launch is expected in early April. The prices are expected to comparable to the current diesel variants. The sedan will continue to fight it out with the likes of VW Vento, Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz.