Skoda Octavia Might Get A New Rider Edition

The Rider edition was first introduced in the first-gen Octavia

The Skoda Rapid Rider Edition, which is priced at Rs 6.99 lakh (ex-showroom pan India), has turned out to be one of the biggest surprises from the Czech carmaker this year. The fact that you can get a C-segment sedan for sub-4 metre money is the cherry on the cake. And while the Rapid Rider Edition might be based on the base-spec Active petrol manual variant, it comes with all the basic features, including a 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth, remote central locking, front and rear power windows, manual air conditioner and electrically adjustable ORVMs. Safety has also not been skimped on and the Rapid Rider Edition comes with dual airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, seatbelt reminder and 'rough road' package.

All of this at Rs 6.99 lakh make the Rapid Rider Edition a mouth-watering proposition. Just like the Rapid Rider Edition, will there be more aggressively priced models from Skoda, including a new Octavia Rider edition, soon? To find that out, we spoke to Zac Hollis, the director of sales and marketing for Skoda India, to see what’s in store. 

 Q: How was Skoda able to achieve this pricing? It is pretty much neck-to-neck with petrol-powered variants of several sub-4m sedans like the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze. 

ZH: Now, that's a trade secret! On a serious note though, at Skoda Auto India, we are committed to meet evolving customer needs and demands with our 'value for money' range of products. The recently introduced Rapid Rider, with its sticker price of Rs 6.99 lakh, is a great example.

Q: What was the reasoning behind the decision to introduce the Rider Edition at this price?

ZH: We wanted the Skoda brand to be experienced by a set of customers who, in the past, assumed that the 'bigger and better' Rapid is an expensive vehicle and kept it off their consideration set. It is deemed to be the best-seller, setting a benchmark for functionality, practicality, and spaciousness in its segment at a very competitive price point. The Skoda Shield Plus, an optional segment-first six-year warranty program, ascertains that 'Peace of Mind comes standard with a Skoda'.

Q: Can the Rider variant, with its pricing, become a regular variant offering if the response is good?

ZH: We have received an overwhelming response for the limited edition Rapid Rider Edition and are working tirelessly towards facilitating our customers' requests. We will certainly explore the option of making it a regular offering in the future.

Q: The first-gen Octavia also used to have a Rider variant in the lineup. However, it was a regular offering, not a limited edition like the Rapid. Are the plans to introduce a Rider edition of the Octavia too?

ZH: Let us take one step at a time! At this hour, our efforts are focused on ensuring that the Skoda Rapid Rider becomes a successful product among the set of buyers we just spoke about. We are certainly open to the idea of introducing the Rider marque on the popular Skoda Octavia. However, it is too early to comment any further.

Previously, Skoda had offered a Corporate Edition for exisiting Skoda owners at a more affordable price. If Skoda launches the Octavia Rider Edition at a price lower than the model currently on sale, it could be a runaway success as the Octavia will now be available for a wider base of customers. It is currently priced from Rs 15.49 lakh to Rs 27.00 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Meanwhile, Skoda has started work on the 2020 Octavia, which will feature refreshed styling inside-out and is expected to come with 1.5-litre TSI and 2.0-litre TDI engine options. Both are likely to be BS6-compliant. The next-gen Octavia is expected to come to India next year. 


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