- The China-spec Rapid borrows styling cues from Octavia and Superb.
- Exterior changes include a wider butterfly grille and split tail lamps.
- It is expected to come with a premium interior to cater its market.
- It is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine that develops 110PS and 150Nm.
- Next-gen Rapid based on MQB platform not expected in India until 2021.
The Skoda Rapid has aged gracefully in India. In fact, if you see one passing by, you’ll have a hard time swallowing the fact that it’s an eight year old model. But the bittersweet truth is that the Rapid is indeed old. Yes, the next-gen Rapid is expected to hit our roads by 2021, but before that a facelifted model has been spied in China. Will these updates make their way to the India-spec model as well?
Visually, the Rapid facelift spied in China borrows plenty of styling cues from its bigger brothers, the Octavia and Superb. The trademark Skoda butterfly grille is now wider and sleeker while the headlamp design mimics that of the Superb. The side profile takes plenty of cues from the Octavia thanks to the rear quarter glass mounted on the door, unlike the India-spec car, where it is present on the C-pillar. At the rear, the Rapid facelift comes with split tail lamps and an aggressive looking bumper. It comes with two body styles in China - a sedan and an estate.
The interiors of the Rapid facelift are yet to be revealed. But considering that Chinese people like their cars to be well appointed, expect Skoda to offer a premium looking interior. Chinese people like their car to be feature loaded as well and the Rapid sold there comes with a 2-DIN infotainment system with USB and AUX input, steering-mounted audio controls, keyless entry with push button start, cruise control as well as a multi-info display. Safety features include dual airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitor, electronic stability control and hill hold control.
Under the hood, the China-spec Rapid comes with a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that develops 110PS and 150Nm. It can be had with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Expect the Rapid facelift in China to continue with the same powertrain.
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group is working on a low cost MQB-A0-IN platform for the Indian market that’ll host a whole lot of entry-level models from the group. This includes the next-gen Rapid. So, yes, we need to chug on with the current-gen Rapid for at least another year or two before we see its next iteration. But a facelift like this would be a welcome addition. The Skoda Rapid rivals the Volkswagen Vento, Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz in India.
-By Aniruthan Srithar