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Skoda Rapid (2012) first official pictures

Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Skoda has finally taken the wraps off the Rapid, its new compact saloon.

The Rapid is destined to sit between the Fabia supermini and Octavia family hatch in the range, when it heads for UK showrooms in the autumn of 2012.

Give me the details on the 2012 Skoda Rapid. Fast, is it?

The quick-sounding Rapid is the first Skoda to receive the brand's all new sharply styled design, which will filter out across the Czech company's range in the next few years.

The familiar Skoda cues of a wide grille and boxy taillights still feature, but it's all decidedly crisper and more angular.

It's a mark of Skoda's resurgent confidence under VW, as the company looks to build on record sales in 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.

The five-seater Rapid is 4.48m long and 1.7m wide, and will be offered with a wide choice of five petrol and two diesel engines. A frugal Greenline model is likely, though Skoda is being tight-lipped on the possibility of a hotter vRS version.

Won't the Rapid overlap with the Skoda Octavia?

Not for long. Skoda has confirmed that the imminient next-generation Octavia will expand in size to move into the gap between the Rapid and the Superb, leaving its previous position to be occupied solely by the Rapid.

Skoda's success with the current Octavia has proven the market for a mid-sized model between the usual Focus or Mondeo-sized norm. It's what Skoda does well: offering more space than rivals for a competitive price.

We'll hear more about engine specifications, trims levels, and of course prices when the Rapid is show at the 2012 Paris motor show in September.

Sales will begin shortly afterwards, as the Rapid bids to help Skoda reach a target of 1.5 million worldwide annual sales by 2018, as previously reported by CAR.


By Ollie Kew