2014 Skoda Rapid facelift by year end

The Rapid will get a major cosmetic update by 2014 end that's in-line with Skoda's new design language

Skoda Rapid

Skoda India is freshening up its entire lineup. After having introduced the all-new Octavia last year, it will also launch the facelifted Superb and Yeti this calendar. The Superb is expected in February while the new Yeti will hit showrooms by mid 2014. The only product remaining then is Skoda’s only mass market car, the Rapid. But, the Rapid too will be upgraded this calendar. First to arrive will be the Ultima, a special edition with more features and revised interior trim.

But, towards the end of the year, Skoda will launch a full-fledged facelift of the Rapid. The car will remain the same mechanically, but it will get new head lamps, a new bumper, and grille and bonnet design which are in line with Skoda’s new family face. We expect significant changes to the interior of the car as well.

According to Skoda, it wants to take a premium position with the Rapid going forward, especially when it comes to features and other aspects within the car. It is currently working on this front. The plan is to build a stronger price-value equation for the Rapid because that’s what customers seek. A great and successful example of this in the Hyundai Verna. And we have seen the new Honda City take the same route as well. This segment is a lot more price sensitive and customers evaluate every aspect of the car and put a value to it to see what they are buying, says Skoda.

The new or facelifted Rapid will come with the same 1.6-diesel and 1.6-petrol engines, both producing 105PS of max power. Both engines will be mated to 5-speed manual gearboxes. Skoda will also launch the Rapid automatic but unlike the current car, the new Rapid will get a 1.2-litre, turbocharged, direct injection petrol engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. This is the same setup used on the Vento TSI, which has been brought in, in place of the older 1.6-petrol, 6-speed automatic Vento. The combination of the 1.2 TSI engine and the 7-speed DSG ‘box promises significantly high fuel economy.

The prices for the new Rapid are expected to go up, but not by much. Given the recent launch of the new Honda City and the continued success of the Hyundai Verna, Skoda must keep the Rapid’s pricing competitive to avoid outpricing themselves from the game.

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