Currently reading: Beijing motor show 2012: Skoda MissionL gets Rapid name
Skoda bosses have confirmed that the Skoda MissionL concept will be dubbed Rapid

Skoda has confirmed at the Beijing motor show that the new MissionL concept will be dubbed Rapid when it goes on sale. For the Chinese market, however, the Rapid name will probably not be used.

First revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September last year, the MissionL previews the crucial new Rapid model that will be key to the Czech firm’s ambitious growth plans when it enters production this year.

The new model will fill the large gap between the Fabia and Octavia in Skoda’s current range. It will be a five-door hatchback-come-saloon, similar in dimensions to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, and is described by Skoda as being of a “compact liftback design”.

The car will be sold in Europe, Russia and China, with a separate four-door version for India on sale by the end of the year. Each market will get its own regionalised version of the car that Skoda says will be one of the main contributors if it is to reach its annual worldwide sales target of 1.5 million units per year by 2018. Last year, Skoda sold a record 762,600 units.

Many of MissionL’s key design features will be taken from the similarly sized VisionD concept from the 2011 Geneva motor show. Autocar understands the concept is around 80 per cent production ready and is based on lengthened VW Polo mechanicals.

Skoda chairman Winfried Vahland says the MissionL shows “exactly the direction our brand is going to take”. Vahland also says the production version of the Rapid will be followed be a new model every six months for up to the next three years.

Elsewhere, Skoda’s expansion plans include launching and locally producing the Yeti in China in 2013, the same year it will launch a “new compact model” for China it has co-developed with Shanghai Volkswagen. Russia will also be producing the Yeti from 2012.

The European version of Skoda's Rapid will reach UK showrooms from late 2012, with a Chinese version - built and sold in China - available from 2013.


Read our review

Car review
Skoda Rapid
Skoda Rapid was previewed by the Mission L concept

Skoda bridges the gap between Fabia and Octavia with a new hatch, but keen drivers will find more rewarding alternatives in the class

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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giulivo 30 April 2012

Re: Skoda's Focus rival revealed

rodenal wrote:
not identical to the golf....with a boot on the end

Does the boot on the end not make it longer and more spacious (at least as far as the boot is concerned)? The 156 was essentially a 147 with a longer rear overhang; doesn't stop it from being a bigger car in every respect, just the same as a Jetta/Vento/Bora is bigger than a Golf, and therefore comparable to a 3 series / A4 whereas the Golf would be comparable to the 1-series / A3.
Andrew Lee 30 April 2012

Re: Skoda's Focus rival revealed

Rapid? Rapide? Surely Aston's lawyers will have something to say about this... Also, what's rapid about it anyway?

sportwagon 9 October 2011

Re: Skoda's Focus rival revealed

Good luck to Skoda with this. It is one of the most attractive designs for a car in this class that I have seen for some time; it is well-integrated and shows up the Focus styling for the mess that it is. With the right choice of engines from the VAG range and Skoda's traditional value I can see it being a great success, regardless of the views of some people who have to slot it in somewhere. If the next Octavis is a bit bigger, then it will fill a natural gap in the range in any case.