The Skoda Rapid lineup was given a facelift last year, but that only serves to keep the model relevant for a short while, as an all-new generation model is tipped to arrive as early as next year.
Here we have the first spy shots of the next-generation Rapid, which will bring significant changes to Skoda’s econobox. It might even drop the Rapid moniker to reflect the upcoming updates, but until the name change becomes official, we will be referring to it as Rapid.
We also hear that only the Spaceback body style will survive, with the fastback version getting axed. So what you see in the gallery is the Rapid Spaceback undergoing dynamic testing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It may not be so obvious in the photos, but the new generation Rapid is both longer and wider than the current model, approaching VW Golf dimensions.
Underpinned by the MQB A0 platform, which is already used by other VW Group models such as the Seat Ibiza and VW Polo, the new Rapid will try to steal sales from compact models like the Ford Focus, Opel Astra, and Kia Ceed.
Increasing the size of the new Rapid will allow Skoda to move the next-generation Octavia slightly upmarket, thus giving the brand a significant presence in the C-segment. The use of the MQB architecture means there should be no surprises in the engine department. Gasoline, diesel, and mild-hybrid powertrains from the VW Group are on the table, and they will be shared with the next-generation Fabia arriving in 2020.
As for the styling, all we know is the upcoming Rapid will be much easier to distinguish from the Octavia than before. The Vision RS Concept should provide some strong clues about the design if the RS parts are not taken into account. The new Skoda Rapid Spaceback is expected to debut in March 2019 at the Geneva Motor Show.