Skoda Automobiles is all set to launch its entry-level sedan Rapid today, on the 16th of November in New Delhi. Experts have widely acknowledged that this brand new addition into the Skoda family is a much alike clone of its direct rival – the Volkswagen Vento. However, one can point out that the better economically priced (by a minor margin) vehicle can give itself an extra advantage over the Vento that it can compete amongst the likes of Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Chevorlet Optra and s forth. Potential owners can still be proud over claiming the Skoda cedan logo and at a price which they previously could not have afforded.
This muscle-bodied cedan of the well-known Skoda quality is a powerhouse of important features. Its plush interiors include advanced accessories such as instrument cluster, glove box, music system and air conditioning which includes the auto climate control feature (in the top-end version). An important feature of this car is its addition of a 12V power socket in the center. Some of its other attractive features includes rear AC vents, rear reading spot lamps and a manual dimming inside mirror. Other features include a large sized glove box, dust and pollen filter and electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors.
It also features a 4-speaker audio system which can be locked using a security code in the top-end model. The stereo has an in-built SD-MMC card reader which enhances convenience of listening to music of one’s choice by a fair degree. When it comes to passenger safety, the manufacturers have taken no chances whatsoever. The top-end model is equipped with driver and passenger airbags, Anti-Breaking System and Break Assist, Engine Immobilizer, Height adjustable 3 point seat belts and a standard high stop LED center brake lights. Functions such as foldable keys, doors, windows and boo lids are remote controlled. Overall, the interiors are equipped with plastics and frames of the highest quality one can expect at the price-range, giving it an edge over rivals by a comfortable margin.
The Rapid, similar to all its Skoda cousins have bullet-proof body build quality. It comes with 5 spoke alloy wheels and have a relatively better amount of ground clearance as compared to the discontinued Octavia. Rear parking sensors are an attraction which suggests Skoda are forever technologically flexible. and However, readers may observe from the below picture that the front of the Rapid looks awkwardly similar to that of the Skoda Fabia. One drawback of the vehicle on the exterior look wise, thus, is that particular uniqueness we fail to observe in most of Skoda’s cars that have hit the Indian roads till date.
The Rapid is packed with a 1.6 liter engine available in both petrol and diesel variants. One also has a choice between a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed automatic gearbox, but both engines run on 16 valves. The Rapid Diesel TDi unit rips off 105 PS @ 4400 RPM whereas the Petrol MPI engine performs at 105 PS power @ 5250 RPM. Overall, the 4 cylinder power-plant layout of the Rapid is much similar to that of its counterpart, the Volkswagen Vento. These specifications suggest that the Rapid can deliver a mileage of 14-16 kmpl in the petrol variant and about 15-18 kmpl in the diesel version. Skoda are yet to officially announce the mileage specifications. With these power-packed display of specifications the car can assumed to hit a top speed of around 180 km/h, with 0-100 kmph achieved in about 12-13 seconds.
The car is priced between Rs. 6,70,000 and Rs. 9,20,000 depending on the various models.
We believe the Czech automakers have made the ultimate product design with the launch of this incredible sedan. It is nothing less than the hallmark of Skoda quality – a technological masterpiece at its range, a stunning display of interiors and features and inviting that crave for the upper-middle class Indian car lovers to finally have their hands grab onto a reasonably priced Skoda cedan. However, the car may not be anything new to those who have previously experienced the Vento, and one can easily make a direct comparison between the two vehicles. And though the Rapid may not be as big as its predecessor – the Octavia, generally put, it is a more compact version of the car whose early 2000s sales triggered off Skoda’s establishment in the Indian market. Just as the Octavia set an example of Skoda’s success in the past decade, we believe the Rapid will continue the legacy in the ongoing one. And competitors, beware! The Skoda Rapid may be your chance and sign indicating to work harder and improve performance continuously.