New Rapid model sets saloon ‘benchmark’

Skoda has released further details of its fast-approaching Rapid compact saloon, following a concept image some months ago.

Sized in between the Fabia and Octavia, the Rapid aims to capture sales in a corner of the market it currently doesn’t serve.

It’s likely that it will end up sharing a lot of parts and technology with the Volkswagen Jetta.However, the Rapid is the first Skoda to showcase the next generation of the company’s styling.

Despite being smaller in every direction it looks quite similar in proportions to a current generation Octavia, but with a nod towards the sort of straight-line architecture that the first Volkswagen-era Octavia used at its 2001 release.

At 4.48 metres long and 1.7 metres wide excluding mirrors, the Rapid will actually be about 14cm shorter than the current Jetta and around 7cm narrower. Skoda is aiming to maximise the interior space to create what it feels is the perfect small family car.Skoda claims the Rapid will have room for five plus their baggage, with five petrol and two diesel engines offered at launch. With the fast efficiency advances being made with small, turbocharged petrol engines and the impending Euro 6 emissions laws that take into account diesel engines’ particulate emissions, Skoda is anticipating that buyers will begin to swing back towards petrol.

“This is a model which sets benchmarks in the compact saloon segment,” said Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland.