Skoda Rapid trails behind other mid-size sedans such as Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz
Based on Volkswagen Vento, existing Skoda Rapid has been in service in India since around ten years. It is in need for a replacement, but uncertainties prevail about its future in India. The sedan still commands a niche fan following and delivers consistent numbers every month. This has made it difficult for folks at Skoda to take a decision.
Skoda Rapid’s future under discussion
If Rapid were to be discontinued now, it will create a significant revenue gap for the company. Rapid is currently one of the primary volume generators for the company. Unless there’s a new product that can work as a replacement or generate similar level of revenue, it is likely that Rapid will continue to be in service.
At his point of time, no one is really sure about Rapid’s prospects in India. Even Skoda Auto director Zac Hollis has stated on his twitter handle that end of production date for Rapid is still being discussed.
It looks more like a question about how long Rapid can continue in the country in its current form. Zac was replying to a Skoda user who had enquired about the company’s plan to continue Rapid product line in the Indian market.
Last year in December, Zac had said that next-gen Rapid will not be launched in India. He had talked about plans to launch a bigger sedan that will be based on the new MQB A0 (IN) platform. The larger sedan has already been spied on road tests. It is expected to use the same engine options, as will be offered with upcoming Skoda Kushaq.
A rival to the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks and Renault Duster, Kushaq will be offered with two engine options. There’s a 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor that is capable of generating 113 bhp of max power and 175 Nm of max torque.
The second one is a 1.5-litre turbo petrol motor that churns out 148 bhp and 250 Nm. Both engines will get 6-speed manual transmission as standard. Automatic option will include a 6-speed torque converter unit for the smaller engine and a 7-speed DCT for the larger engine.
It is being reported that this new sedan which will replace Rapid, could be called Slavia. It will get bigger dimension, larger boot, more interior space, more features, electric sunroof, touchscreen infotainment, etc. Launch is expected later this year or early next year.
Skoda Rapid CNG
Even though next-gen Rapid is not coming to India, the current model is expected to get CNG option soon. This was confirmed by Zac earlier this year in March. Rapid CNG test mules have also been spotted. Fuel prices have broken all records and everyone has started to feel the pinch. Rapid CNG will be suitable for folks who may be looking to save on fuel costs.