Skoda Rapid sketches revealed

7 Jun, 2012 12:29pm Damion Smy

New official images have been released of the upcoming Golf-sized family car, which goes on sale later this year

These are the first official sketches of the new Skoda Rapid - a small family car that will sit between the Fabia and the Octavia in the Skoda line-up. 

Entry-level versions are likely to cost less than £13,000, undercutting the similarly sized VW Golf by around £3,500.

The production version is set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September with sales starting in the UK later this year. 

As you can see from these sketches - which were released to Auto Express at an event at the company's base just outside Prague - the new Rapid retains the saloon profile of the MissionL concept which was shown at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. 

It teams this look with a practical hatchback tailgate, though, ensuring the Rapid will stand out in the compact family car market – and not tread directly on the toes of other VW Group models such as the VW Golf and SEAT Leon. 

In fact, SEAT will launch its own version of the Rapid, as previewed by the Toledo 'concept' at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Thanks to their hatchback tailgates, both cars will have 500 litres of bootspace. 

The Skoda Rapid will feature the company's latest family 'face', moving on from the Geneva 2012 VisionD concept car with a new grille, badge and more prounounced creases in the bonnet. This will be carried over to the production car, as you can see from these spy shots.

Engines will be confirmed nearer to the car's launch, but expect a range of efficient small capacity turbocharged petrol and diesels, with at least one sub-100g/km Greenline version.


Disqus - noscript

After the citigo (aka !up) we have the Rapid (aka Jetta).
What is funny with AutoExpress, a loyal Skoda follower, is that they carefully do not compare it with the Jetta, which is the sister VW, but with the Golf!!!!
Unless AutoExpress is not aware of the Jetta existance!!!!!

All in all another pathetic Skoda costume to a VW model.
But then it costs much less to produce this car under a Skoda badge in Eastern Europe factories.
This way VAG sees its profits soar and alike for all car manufacturers, domestic auto industry will soon be abolished for the much cheaper Eastern European workforce markets.
Keep buying Skoda's!!

To Kirra1;

The Rapid is not a rebadged Jetta. Different platform, different size, different interior.

The real sister car of the Rapid will be the SEAT Toledo which will also be produced by Skoda in the Czech Republic, but in my opinion they have done a better job of distinguishing these two than they did with the Up! trio.

The Jetta is a saloon version of the Golf - the new Skoda is to be a hatch like the Golf - hence I guess the comparison!

the size of the Rapid and the new Toledo will be identical to Jetta all of which will have a 500 lt boot space.
VAG is not into different platforms thing because its very costly.
Actually their latest platform (new A3, Golf 7, new Leon etc) will be shared by almost all their models. The Rapid will definately share this new plattform and none of its own.
Skoda does not have a Golf segment model so that they can directly relate the Rapid to it as VW has with Golf and Jetta. If they had the Rapid would have been the sedan version of it.
The only difference, a Skoda trademark, is that their sedans (like Octavia) are considered hatchbacks because of their convenient fifth door tailgate.
Other than that they would be Jettas in a SEAT or SKODA costume.

The Rapid/Toldeo is 4.48m long, the Jetta is 4.7m.

The next Octavia will run the new type of platform but this will run it's own platform which is modular (like the Roomster)

obviously you are referring to the existing Rapid dimensions (available in India) which is based on the previous Vento and has exactly the same platform, size and dimensions of the Vento, i.e., 4.48 m and 2.52 mt wheelbase.
I'm sure that the european Rapid will be based on the new Jetta
plattform which is 4.64 m (not 4.7 m).

This car is already out in India- looks nothing special, more like a cross between a fabia and a volkswagen vento, with volkswagen engines.

This car is not "already out in India". It's a completely different car, unfortunately Skoda also decided to call that the Rapid. That car is indeed a rebadged Vento.

Wait and see if you don't believe me but the European Rapid will be 4.48m long, just over 1.7m wide with a wheelbase of 2.6m. As well as being a different size, the Jetta platform is also too expensive for this car which is supposed to be a budget saloon starting around £12,000.

Whatever it's based on or not based on for that matter we'll never know,but one things for sure is it's still a Skoda.

Clearing a few things up - The Rapid in India is a saloon, this is a hatch, and a very nice one at that if you have seen the proper undisguised pictures.
What is wrong with platform sharing? Fiat/Lancia/Alfa do it. It seems there are people on here that just come to slate the VAG group, usually fans of italian tin, that Skoda are beating hands down in all tests.
Rather than basing a car on its looks, base it on its driving ability, its quality, its reliability etc. Who said that western countries have a better workforce than easten countries? The Czechs are very proud of their engineering, and Skodas are built in state of the art factories.
The new Rapid will NOT be competing with the Jetta, it is a HATCH not a saloon which the Jetta is.
At least the VAG group, Skoda included, has proved they can build cars of all sizes and all segments, unlike Fiat, which it seems can only build small cars - every time they build big cars they fail. The Bravo sold only 600 in the UK last year as people know they will depreciate like stones.They have had to badge Lancias as Chryslers to sell them here, and they are just overpriced as any tester will tell you. The VAG group has now redefined small cars with the Citigo, Mii and up!, and sales will continue to rise and rise. Fiat are selling less cars in the UK than Skoda now, Alfa sales are down 35% here this year. The VAG group is heading in the right direction, and some people just can't accept that.

Platform sharing is becoming an increasinly irrelevant term anyway as the new VAG platform architecture is so flexible that some of the same modules could be found on anything from a Polo to an Audi TT in the future. It matters more what you do with it surely, in terms of chassis dimensions, suspension setup, weight distribution e.t.c.

And anyhow, development and manufacturer of various components is shared across the group.

What a disappointment i was expecting a sleek coupe instead a smaller octavia think of hundreds of man hours spent designing it NOT

There seems to be a frenzy of VW hate here. If VW had not bought Škoda and Seat then they wouldn't have survived. Remember the original Rapid? or the Seat Marbella?

I don't like this design though its far too similar to the current Octavia.

Judging by recent Skoda models, the bottom line is that it will handle well, be well equipped, sell well in the UK, hold it's value reasonably well - what's wrong with that?
At the end of the day, Skoda is just a part of the vast VAG empire, and whilst outstanding design would be a great bonus, their aim is to sell their cars in quantity and at a profit. The Rapide will achieve that.

No doubt this car will be a big seller. VAG must be doing something right or they wouldn't be where they are now.
I'd still rather have my Toyota. It wouldn't do for us all to like the same cars.
If I had to buy a European brand it's likely I would only look at VW or Skoda. Not really anything else worth looking at!

Choice between a Skoda/VW and a Toyota? Oh dear!

I did say if I had to choose a European brand. Lets hope I never do.

if you consider the Octavia a HATCH, then definately the Rapid is also a HATCH, otherwise its just a 5 door saloon (like Octavia/Laguna etc).
What kind of engineering are the Chechs proud off?
You must be reffering to German VAG engineering, without which Skoda would be still producing Favorits and Targets!
Regarding the Italian brands, you are mostly right, they are not
the epitomy of reliability and good built but they sell for their looks and fresh design. Alfa's all in all are the best designed cars on the street but ofcourse they lack in other areas. Don't forget that they all have 5 stars ratings (even the 500 and the Panda) in crash tests.
Each time I look at a Giulietta on the street, the current or one of 30 yeas ago, cannot resist but admire their style and finesse.
I'm also a happy owner of a 2008 Golf dsg tsi (don't be surprised) but I would also have been happy owning a new Giulietta even if it is not up to Golf's built standards.
Cars for me are not only how well they are built but equally so their looks/history and how they make you feel when you sit behind their wheel.
Its like a suit you have to buy, although the german will be
more durable it is the finesse of the italian I will choose even if that means that it will not outlast the german one.
That is why I will not buy a Skoda. They are so indifferent
in design that they always pass by unoticed, as they don't exist, plus that badge that still reminds me of the iron curtain Favorit/Target time.
Yes, ofcourse VAG will be a dominant force in the years to come
and rightfully so, they build good cars eventhough they lack IN style with their latest Golf/Passat/Jetta, but don't count out the Koreans (Hyundai/Kia) which are coming very strong with their new models.
Oh, I'm also a happy owner of a 2007 Santa Fe.

I would just like to put some of the naysayers right on here about Skoda's heritage:

1: They are one of the oldest car manufacturers in Europe and in their early days they manufactured what were considered to be luxury vehicles.

2: Skoda's rally heritage and success is unsurpassed by ANY other manufacturer.

3: Skoda designs and builds its vehicles in a state of the art manufacturing facility in the Czech republic on VW floorpans using selected VAG components and many of their own.


There is no such thing as a 3 or 5 door saloon - a saloon has a conventional boot and 2 or 4 doors, a hatchback has 3 or 5 doors. The Rapid is a 5 door spacious quality hatch. It isn't all about looks, its about quality, practicality and reliability, and all Skodas have very high quality and reliabilityand clever practicality.
The Favorit was not a bad car, it was actually very good, I owned a few, so have a right to say that. I also owned 3 Fiats which were appalling, rusted easily and broke down often. Skodas have a 117 year long PROUD history, and dont forget that it was only the post war years of communism that forced them to produce base end cars, but they always produced the best east european cars, and VW bought them because they were in awe of Skodas all aluminium engines as fitted to the 136 Rapids and Favorits.
Like you say, it is personal choice - I hate the current crop of Italian cars as they have become uglier and uglier, as have BMW's. Koreans, ok, they have advanced, but are still a way away from beating Skoda. They are selling because of the long warranties (that have so many get out clauses they are worthless), and because they are very cheap under the various scrappage schemes.
I agree with sgtgrash, he obviously knows about the Rallying and Motorsport heritage Skoda have had for over 110 years. They have won THOUSANDS of awards for their rallying successes, and are current SWRC champions, IRC champions 2010 and 2011, and leading the IRC this year also. Plus the Favorit was F2 World Rally Champion in 1994. They have also finished in the top ten of the JD Power Survey for the last 19 years - including the Favorit models, so there's even more proof they were doing it right even before VW came and bought them.

The sketch of this vehicle really does suggest that the Yeti was a false dawn of stylishness for Skoda. As Kojak would have put it, the Rapid stylistically is "down the toobs Baby"!

Indignant responders to kirra 1 should read carefully what he actually said. He acknowledges the merits of VW group products but says they lack style and finesse. A very balanced critique from someone who actually owns a VW.

As far as I am concerned, where relatively reasonably priced vehicles are concerned, the products of central europe and the far east are going through a mighty dreary time. For anything more interesting you have to look to Alfa, the Citroen half of the PSA group or even Nissan (in the form of the Juke, which I can't stand but cannot be ignored) which is a tiny amount of light in a turgid night.

Skoda have their own development facility in the Czech Republic employing around 2000 people so it's not as simple as saying they are just rebadged VWs. They use VAG components, and they are a part of VAG who contribute towards the development of those components.

The first truly badge engineered car since VW took over Skoda was..... the VW Caddy Pick Up which was a rebadged Skoda Felicia pickup.

For me, the Rapid is very much Octavia-like in terms of overall shape but the styling is much sharper and more attractive than the current Octavia/Fabia and also most Korean/Japanese blobs. The next Octavia (due at the end of the year) is supposed to be a very good looing vehicle so I'll look forward to that.

And what the hell is a Target anyway?

A saloon.. really? We know how popular they are in the UK...


2: Skoda's rally heritage and success is unsurpassed by ANY other manufacturer


Seriously, you must be joking, right?

If not you most probably are missing some decades of WRC rallying but in any case why don't you give us some facts i.e., WRC wins, championships, models/drivers, official standings etc.

I bet Audi, Toyota, Nissan (Datsun), Subaru, Mitsubishi, Ford, Citroen, Peugeot don't ring a bell to you, do they?

Regarding your point 1, what does pre war world 2 Skoda has in common with post ww 2 Skoda, unless all engineers/designers from that era are still alive and working and what was the volume of sales of those cars?
Where would Skoda be today without VAG?

Regarding point 2, in that sense all Nissans/Toyotas/Vauxhalls built in UK are considered British engineering/technology cars and not Japanese, all Renaults/Toyotas/Opels etc built in Turkey are considered Turkish engineering/technology cars, all VW/BMW/MERCEDES built in the U.S. are considered American engineering/technology cars and the list goes on and on with China, Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia etc etc,

Please do not reply as we are way out of topic already, this is just for thought.

sorry, forgot to place Vauxhall to its German (Opel) family.

fact ...the skoda rs 130 became one of the most successful rally cars in history...not bad for a (then)small company from eastern europe


Škoda 130 RS (type 735) - sports coupe produced by Czechoslovak Škoda in the years 1977 - 82

In 1976 , Škoda was approved years racing FIA , and staged three of his crew in the Monte Carlo Rally . One vehicle did not finish the race, the other competitors zdeklasowały taking two first places in class (A2 to 1300 cm ³) and 12th respectively and 15 overall. A year later the factory Skoda team won its group in the Acropolis Rally , being placed nine in the standings. In 1980 years, Škoda was named runner-up, and a year later, the master of Europe on the tracks in the team category. The winning streak was interrupted in 1982 , when the new rules the FIA robbed the cars with a capacity of 1300 cm ³ chances of international success

Sorry, this is all I could get out of auto-translator, but I hope you get the idea of all that Skoda accomplished with that model in international FIA rallies and surely cannot be considered even close to ' the 'most succesful rally cars in history' as you put it.
Surely it was a robust/honest competitor in its class (1300 cc) but only on its class had some success and that for a limited time.
It was very cheap to buy and prepare for rallying, compared to others, and due to its light weight/power ratio and reliability (something that it is still a trademark of today's Skoda) had good results.
In some local rallies around Europe (Britain as well, which you can find from Wikkipedia) was very succesful and posted wins but that was again in its class and never to WRC magnitude.
If you want to see real rally legends and really succesful rally cars in rally history just click 'lancia integrale rally car' or 'lancia stratos rally car', or 'audi quatrto rally car' or 'subaru impreza rally car' or 'mitsubishi lancer/evo rally car' or 'ford escort rs rally car' or 'ford focus rally car' or 'toyota celica rally car' 'or datsun 200 sx rally car' or 'citroen xsara rally car' or, or... and you will get plenty of facts and cars/automakers that determined the real rally history.

If you read the article it says it's a hatchback that blends with the look of a saloon.

The Rapid will have a sister vehicle from Seat, called the Toledo, and be previewed by a show car at this year’s Geneva motor show. Sources at Seat have already said that their car will have ‘more than 500 litres of boot space’, and the Rapid is likely to offer a similar capacity.