NEWS: New SKODA Rapid Launched
We've just returned from the UK launch of Skoda's 7th member of its range – the Rapid. It's a 'price sensitive' A-sector, family car which sits between the current Octavia (due to get a re-launch and go more upmarket & techy early in 2013) and the Fabia. It starts at £12,900 for the 1.2 75PS S model, rising to £17,890 for the 1.6 TDi CR 105PS DPF model. There are three specs – S, SE & Elegance. And there are five engines – four petrol (1.2 75PS, 1.2 TSi 86PS, 1.2 TSi 105PS & 1.4 TSi 122PS) and one 1.6 TDi CR 105PS diesel, with either five or six-speed manuals, or seven-speed DSG on the 1.4 TSi 122PS petrol range-topper. Greenline variants will be released in 2013, but, sadly, there will be no vRS version for fast families. That's a real shame, because the chassis is superb.
This is the first Skoda to feature the "new Skoda DNA" design which, according to the designer they brought in from the factory is "elegant, timeless and has sheer, precise lines and plays with light and shadow." It also proudly wears the new Skoda badge, up high on its fresh front end, featuring the 'power dome' V-lines. And at the rear, there's C-shape LED lights and a striking triangular recess for the number plate – all part of the new Skoda look, to be rolled out in forthcoming models.
Inside, there's the usual Skoda/VAG quality, simplicity, headroom and legroom and also a 'best in class' 550-litre storage space with the seats up – as demonstrated by packing an unreal amount of luggage in the boot on the launch – & 1490-litre seats down – enough to rival some estates! It's also loaded with Skoda's "simply clever" design touches, like a groovy green ice scraper fitted in the fuel filler cap for those icy mornings, a reverse-able boot floor with carpet on one side and rubber on the other for messy boot loads, A-pillar ticket holder, boot hooks etc. As they say, it's functional, clever, smart, spacious, accessible and authentic. And it drives really nicely too, especially the petrol models. Ford's Focus, Peugeot's 308, Vauxhall's Astra and Renault's Megane better watch out... Rapid is in showrooms later this week. And Skoda are selling like hot cakes at the moment... you have been warned!
See more Rapid images at our Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/roadmagblog and read the full Road Magazine test of the car in a future issue very soon at www.roadmagazine.co.uk
And read our latest Skoda special here: http://issuu.com/roadonlinemagazine/docs/road_26_small