Just a couple of days after images of its sister car, the Seat Toledo, leaked onto the Internet, the Škoda Rapid gets an official unveiling. As expected, it is a 99.5-percent facsimile of the Škoda MissionL "concept" revealed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Given plenty of creases and sculpting, the Rapid is a sign of Škoda designs to come, which the brand calls "clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant." To our eyes it certainly isn't a bad way to keep an erstwhile Volkswagen Jetta fresh.

As with the Toledo, the price-value equation will be the Rapid's unique selling proposition for those not smitten with its looks, yet being a VW product it still won't skimp on engines: seven will be offered, five gas-powered and two diesels. Slotted between the Fabia and higher-end Octavia, the Rapid's brand new looks should help it make a name for itself among family types.

We'll see the real thing at the Paris Motor Show soon, and it will hit European showrooms shortly thereafter. Until then, scroll down for a press release with all the info on Škoda's new direction.
Show full PR text
ŠKODA RAPID – THE NEW CLASS OF ŠKODA

- The new ŠKODA Rapid – Room in its most beautiful shape
- First ŠKODA to feature brand's new design: clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant
- The new benchmark for roominess in the compact class
- ŠKODA Rapid sits between the Fabia and the Octavia
- Salon debut in Paris 2012 - Market launch in Europe from late 2012


Mladá Boleslav, June 19th, 2012 - ŠKODA is resolutely pursuing its model offensive, presenting its new compact saloon, the ŠKODA Rapid, just a few months after the introduction of the ŠKODA Citigo subcompact. The brand's most recent addition is to play a central role in the company's growth strategy and will be phased in on European markets from the autumn of 2012.

The ŠKODA Rapid impresses with lots of room, an expressive design, an excellent price-value ratio, a comprehensive safety offering and efficient engines. "This is a model which sets benchmarks in the compact saloon segment: The ŠKODA Rapid is a roomy, elegant and at the same time an affordable car for the whole family, impressing with clever solutions, cutting-edge technology and high economy. In short, it is a car permitting mobility in a comfortable, reasonably priced and environmentally friendly package. The right car at the right time," says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland.

The Rapid is a perfect complement of the model palette, sits between the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Octavia, making it at home in the large-volume compact segment. This so-called A segment currently accounts for about 36 per cent of the world's automobile market. Within this class, saloons have a share of around 42 per cent. Industry experts estimate the number of cars of this type sold worldwide will rise by about 50 per cent by the year 2020.

ŠKODA's Rapid first to show complete new design
The Rapid is the first ŠKODA series car ever to fully feature the brand's newly formulated design language. "This is a car that gives out a clear statement at first glance: clear, precise, fresh and emotional," says Eckhard Scholz, ŠKODA board member for technical development.

Perfect proportions, clear and cleanly modelled surfaces and sharply drawn lines combine to create an attractive overall appearance. The front end displays a new take on ŠKODA-typical design elements. The new brand logo confidently stands out on the harmonically rounded front edge of the bonnet. The grille shows a finely drawn chrome frame and is formed by vertical slats. The headlight ensemble is grouped at the front of the ŠKODA Rapid to form a cloverleaf shape.

The body's side also conveys pure emotion though a long wheelbase and a coupé-like silhouette, but also thanks to a precise and sharp tornado line creating a clear division of light and shadow. At the rear, the car's large tailgate is not merely functional, but also acts as a design element. In addition, distinctly shaped taillights in the brand's typical C shape and the new brand logo all combine to make the ŠKODA Rapid unmistakable.

ŠKODA's latest offspring impresses with a surprising amount of space despite compact exterior dimensions (4.48 metres in length, 1.7 metres in width). This clever compact saloon provides room for five occupants and their baggage and, this being a ŠKODA, the brand's signature clever solutions and excellent price-value ratio as well as comprehensive safety equipment. Five petrol and two diesel engines are on offer as powerplants. ŠKODA's newest creation will be on public display for the first time at the Paris Auto Salon. ŠKODA is aiming the Rapid especially at families looking for a roomy first car at an affordable price in ŠKODA's familiar quality.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      Differentberries
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait, this is supposed to be a modern car. Where is the bloat and superfluous curves? At least Vag still knows how to do proper (conservative) styling.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Differentberries
        Conservative styling isn't "proper styling." There is no "proper styling." It's just conservative styling - boring, characterless, undistinguished, and plausibly the product of a dozen different brands.
          creamwobbly
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Snark
          You know what? You're both right. Proper styling is a wholesome combination of unusual cues that somehow *works*, like the Stratos, Quattro, even the Mustang; and yet conservative styling isn't to be derided either. Y'know, like the new Stratos, new Quattro, and the new Mustang. Ahem.
      Sarvdeep Singh
      • 2 Years Ago
      sweet sharp lines & edges, with enginneered design, will be great in RS form, nice rear retro - old SUPER look, keeps lovely MISSION L shape, will sell - despite tough times, specially with lovely interiors n' frills / gear, fill in some AUDI DIESEL OIL - BURNER Tech - engines, & YOU HAVE A SUPER SEDAN,
      SpikedLemon
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the new Rapid is cheaper Octavia. Both are based off the Jetta.... What's the strategy to differentiate against the Octavia? I don't really get it.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        The Octavia will grow bigger with the next generation to be a typical European mid-size.
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        It's not, it's about 30 cm shorter than Octavia.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        "So the new Rapid is cheaper Octavia. Both are based off the Jetta..." The Rapid uses the underpinnings of the PQ25 Polo platform, whereas the Jetta - to my understanding - sits on the larger C-segment PQ35 chassis.
          Lachmund
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          it actually is a mixture of front polo and back jetta components
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      i really like it although the VAG products start to look more and more alike
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good lord that'd ugly. It looks like it belongs in the early 90s. Why is it that a lot of pedestrian European cars always look so odd and dated when they come out?
      cpbraun
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can you imagine how well the Jetta would be selling if it looked this good?
        Justin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cpbraun
        I totally agree. This is much better looking.
        Jim
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cpbraun
        I was thinking the same thing. Like this much better than the VW corporate "face"
      artandcolour2010
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is tight looking. The new bloated "American" Jetta and Passat should look as tightly drawn.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, its even more boring-looking than the car it's based on. I guess "bland" is a disease that is infiltrating more VAG divisions than just VW.
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car is not designed, it's just shaped. Yes, it's conservative which will appear to users (sorry, can't bring myself to type "drivers") but you'll notice it just as you notice your fridge or the lawnmower. It's designed to be an appliance which will appeal to users in the Czech republic and Slovakia, who still buy Skodas solely on thinking it's a home brand and with the misty vision of allegedly cheap service and spare parts (non of them true, Skoda's servicing costs are certainly not the cheapest), and perhpas to the British police. Both kinds of users prefer an affordable car with a huge cargo area. Czechs to travel to "chalupa" (that's a weekend cottage), Slovaks for "just in case" scenarios and the British bobbies to transport stuff. And don't be fooled by the sedan form - the car is less than 4.5 meter long and about 1.7 meter wide - most of the usable space is trunk/boot but Skoda does have a history of such cars - the inside width of Skoda Superb is 7 cm narrower than what you get in much shorter Opel/Vauxhall Insignia or the EU Mazda 6. The Rapid is actually SMALLER than a Mazda 3 hatch and hence would compete with the likes of Ford Fiesta sedan. Sorry, if you're on the (European) market for a sedan in this segment, Elantra is a MUCH better choice. Plus you'll get almost 3 times the warranty you get with Skoda, cheaper (YES) servicing and a car that's actually designed.
        creamwobbly
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Shame about the Elantra recommendation. And you were going so nicely, too.
        Differentberries
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        >Elantra >better than any western European car Oh you so funny.
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        "which will appear"... I was going for "appeal"
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        "Sorry, if you're on the (European) market for a sedan in this segment, Elantra is a MUCH better choice. Plus you'll get almost 3 times the warranty you get with Skoda, cheaper (YES) servicing and a car that's actually designed." Europe gets the i30 which utilises a different variation of the US Elantra's platform. Also bear in mind that in western Europe at least, Hyundai offers a five year warranty on new cars, while sister company Kia offers seven years. The Rapid is the sister car to the latest Seat Toledo, which itself has downsized. These cars share their platforms with the VW Polo. I'm a little disappointed though that in resurrecting the Rapid name, Skoda didn't choose a three door notchback coupe bodystyle instead to further differentiate it from the Seat version.
      Kahz
      • 2 Years Ago
      So it's a small Optima / Passat from the front, and a Proton from the back. Well done.
        creamwobbly
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kahz
        Bear in mind Kia uses re-hashed Audi design language too. VW is the originator for those N. Korean cues. Proton, I can't help you.
      mchlrus1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Koda there's a typo. (;
      HydraulicDragon
      • 2 Years Ago
      "MaliPassaFusion"
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