› New model to be a central pillar for ŠKODA’s 2018 growth strategy
› Lots of room and excellent price-value ratio
› First ŠKODA to feature brand’s new design: clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant
› Comprehensive safety equipment, highly efficient petrol and diesel engines
› Families as main target group
› Market launch in Europe from late 2012, specific version for China to follow in 2013
Škoda is resolutely pursuing its model offensive, presenting its new compact saloon, the ŠKODA Rapid, just a few months after the introduction of the ŠKODA Citigo subcompact. The brand’s most recent addition is to play a central role in the company’s 2018 growth strategy and will be phased in on European markets from the autumn of 2012.
The ŠKODA Rapid impresses with lots of room, an expressive design, an excellent price-value ratio, a comprehensive safety offering and efficient engines. “This is a model which sets benchmarks in the compact saloon segment. The ŠKODA Rapid is a roomy, elegant and at the same time an affordable car for the whole family, impressing with clever solutions, cutting-edge technology and high economy. In short, it is a car permitting mobility in a comfortable, reasonably priced and environmentally friendly package. The right car at the right time,” says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland.
“The launch of the ŠKODA Rapid means we are firing the next stage of ŠKODA’s model offensive. The Rapid has a central importance for our global growth strategy and will provide us with added momentum on international markets,” says CEO Vahland. The ŠKODA Rapid will be built at Škoda’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic. A country-specific version of the ŠKODA Rapid will be built and sold in China, respectively, from 2013.
Lots of space and room at an affordable price
The driver and the passengers should have no reason to complain about a lack of room. “In its class, the Rapid is the new benchmark for roominess,” says ŠKODA CEO Vahland. Though exterior dimensions, at (4.48 m in length, 1.71 m in length, 1.46 m in height), may be compact, the car will comfortably seat up to five persons. The Rapid’s figures for knee and head room are best in class, as is the boot at 550 litres – truly family-size.
ŠKODA’s roomy latest offspring is a “simply clever” car through and through, offering no less than 19 of ŠKODA’s typical “simply clever” solutions. Four of them are available for the first time in the ŠKODA Rapid, including a practical holder for the warning vest underneath the driver’s seat. Storage for the ice scraper is ingenious: it simply slides into the inside of the tank filler flap. A refuse bin in the side door keeps the car’s inside tidy. Another first for ŠKODA is a double-sided covering for the boot floor. In addition to these “premieres”, the Rapid has a lot of other tried and true clever solutions on board such as a multimedia holder, a ticket holder, various cup holders, nettings on the inner sides of the front seats and an optional netting programme for the car’s huge boot.
ŠKODA’s new design: clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant
The Rapid is the first ŠKODA series car ever to fully feature the brand’s newly formulated design language. “This is a car that gives out a clear statement at first glance: clear, precise, fresh and emotional,” says Eckhard Scholz, ŠKODA board member for technical development.
Perfect proportions, clear and cleanly modelled surfaces and sharply drawn lines combine to create an attractive overall appearance. The front end displays a new take on ŠKODA-typical design elements. The new brand logo confidently stands out on the harmonically rounded front edge of the bonnet. The grille shows a finely drawn chrome frame and is formed by vertical slats. The headlight ensemble is grouped at the front of the ŠKODA Rapid to form a cloverleaf shape.
The body’s side also conveys pure emotion though a long wheelbase and a coupé-like silhouette, but also thanks to a precise and sharp tornado line creating a clear division of light and shadow. At the rear, the car’s large tailgate is not merely functional, but also acts as a design element. In addition, distinctly shaped taillights in the brand’s typical C shape and the new brand logo all combine to make the ŠKODA Rapid unmistakable.
A perfect family car
ŠKODA is aiming the Rapid especially at families. “Families will love the Rapid,” says Jürgen Stackmann, ŠKODA board member for sales and marketing. “Here is a perfect first car at an affordable price in ŠKODA’s familiar quality.” ŠKODA has customers especially in mind who are successful in their professional and private life. At the same time, the Rapid is a response to changed customer needs. Says Stackmann: “People value mobility, but they may be unwilling or unable to spend too much money on their mobility. The Rapid stands for ‘best value for money’ and caters to exactly this sort of need.”
The Rapid is a perfect complement of the model palette between the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Octavia, making it at home in the large-volume compact segment. This so-called A segment currently accounts for 36 per cent of the world’s automobile market. Within this class, saloons have a share of 42.3 per cent. Industry experts estimate the number of cars of this type sold worldwide will rise by about 50 per cent by the year 2020.
Comprehensive active and passive safety package
The ŠKODA Rapid is also big on active and passive safety. ABS and ESP systems are standard in EU countries. The car’s long wheelbase, a precise chassis and a stiff body structure form the basis for stable handling. Functions such as the tyre pressure monitoring, fog lamps with so-called ‘corner function’ or the ‘hill-hold control’ assistant for starting up steep terrain, enhance the car’s active safety level. As for passive safety, a comprehensive package will protect the car’s occupants in case of a collision. It includes front, side and head airbags, adjustable-height 3-point safety belts with tighteners as well as headrests. The stiff body ensures excellent deformation behaviour of the car in a collision.
Efficient petrol and diesel engines
In Europe, the Rapid will be available with a total of four petrol and two diesel engines, all of them conforming to EU 5 standards. The petrol entry-level engine is the 1.2 l MPI three-cylinder producing 55 kW (75 hp). The other petrol engines are the 1.2 l 63 kW (86 hp) TSI, the 1.2 l 77 kW (105 hp) TSI and the 1.4 l 90 kW (122 hp) TSI.
The 1.6 litre diesel engine comes with direct common rail injection and a particulate matter filter and is available in two power variants, the basic diesel putting out 66 kW (90 hp) and scheduled for marketing in the second half of 2013. It may be combined with the optional seven-speed DSG (double-clutch transmission). The 1.6 l TDI CR version is more powerful, putting out 77 kW (105 hp).