The 1.0-liter TSI petrol engine is expected to witness a power drop to the tune of 20 hp while running on CNG
The Skoda Rapid’s 1.5-liter diesel engine which was widely appreciated for its performance and fuel economy did not make the BS6 cut. The lack of diesel engine surely puts the aging sedan at a disadvantage in a segment which is dominated by the Honda City and Hyundai Verna, both of which offer diesel engine option.
Skoda Rapid CNG in the works
A Skoda Rapid with test number plates has been spotted refilling at a CNG fuel station in Pune by autogram07, indicating that the automaker is working on a new variant. As of now, the Skoda Rapid is available only with the 1.0-liter TSI turbocharged direct injection petrol engine.
The CNG version of the 1.0-litre TSI motor is available on several VW Group cars in Europe, so we expect the same in India. Going by the European specifications, the three-cylinder motor, in its CNG avatar, witnesses a significant drop in its power output.
Petrol-only variant produces 110 hp while its CNG sibling develops only 90 hp. However, what the CNG engine lacks in power, it makes up for it with its fuel efficiency.
While the Skoda Rapid CNG variant will not satisfy the diesel engine fans who seek a punchy torque output, it will appeal to buyers who prefer diesel variants purely for the fuel economy. Moreover, a factory fitted CNG kit would make for a better ownership experience.
Given that the CNG version of the engine already exists, it is just a matter of localizing a few components and completing homologation formalities. We expect the Skoda Rapid CNG to be ready sometime in the coming weeks. While the alternate fuel option is sure to increase the sedan’s appeal, the lack of nation-wide CNG distribution network means its prospects will be limited compared to a diesel variant.
The additional CNG paraphernalia including the CNG tank will come at a considerable premium over the regular petrol variant. For reference, the Skoda Rapid petrol BS6 is priced between INR 7.49 lakh to INR 13.29 lakh (ex-showroom).
Skoda India’s future products
Skoda India is spearheading VW Group’s India 2.0 strategy which revolves around the heavily localized MQB A0 IN modular architecture. Just a few days ago, the production version of Skoda Vision IN crossover was spotted testing in the country. The vehicle which measures 4.2m in length will take on the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta when it is launched sometime next year. As of now, we don’t see any major update to the Rapid except for the CNG variant.