Currently reading: Skoda Rapid production car previewed
New five-door Rapid blends saloon and hatchback bodystyles and will bridge the gap between the Fabia and Octavia
Autocar
News
2 mins read
7 June 2012

Skoda has previewed the final look of its new Rapid production car in this series of official design sketches. The new five-door model blends saloon and hatchback bodystyles and will bridge the gap between Skoda’s Fabia and Octavia models.

The Rapid confirms Skoda’s new design language – to be rolled out into the wider range over the next couple of years – which is most evident in the heavily reworked nose that sets the newly monochrome badge back from the grille, with sharpened headlight lenses and similarly trapezoidal, oversized fog lights that are even wider than the Mission L concept’s.

The concept – which previewed the new Rapid at last year’s Frankfurt motor show – has had its lower front grille pattern rationalised into a more coherent octagon pattern, but the design is otherwise very close to the final look of the Rapid.

The Mission L’s Aston Martin-style pop-out door handles have been replaced with conventional cowled levers, but the piano black B-pillars are retained. As in Frankfurt, chrome touches are limited to the Skoda badges and front grille surround, unlike the much showier version of the Mission L seen on display in Beijing in April, reflecting the regional identity the Czech manufacturer has planned for different markets.

Speaking at the company’s Mladá Boleslav design centre near Prague, Skoda design boss Jozef Kaban called the new look “elegant, but to the point and practical” and “a reduced but attractive design.” He hopes the design language’s simplicity will age gracefully, believing “less detail encourages long-term attractiveness.”

Interior design is less ambitious and largely reflects existing Skoda fayre, but the car’s long wheelbase allows exceptionally generous rear legroom, and torsion beam rear suspension helps create a cavernous boot space.

The Rapid is mooted to trump the current Octavia (which is only slightly longer overall) in both respects, and uses a stretched version of the current VW Polo’s platform. It’s expected that engine choices will be limited to sub-two-litre VW Group options to avoid excessive overlap with Octavia powertrains.

The production version is due to be unveiled this summer before going on sale by the end of the year. 

Richard Webber 

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

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

Join the debate

Comments
9
Add a comment…
Flash Harry 7 June 2012

I dont see the progress

I dont see the progress here.It looks just like an updated Octavia.If the Octavia is moving up then why does its replacement not  have  multi link rear  suspension.

HighMilerTDi 7 June 2012

Rapid

Of course it's conservative - It's a Golf class car. But Skoda design is at it's best when subtle. It doesn't date badly, either.

I am particularly liking the new corporate nose/grille. It's going to look excellent when they graft it onto the front of the Superb.

Another excellent move and more proof that next year's bigger Octavia is going to hit the Mondeo and Insignia where it hurts.

Skoda really is the gem in VW's crown.

SeeYou 7 June 2012

Find an Autocar car review