Last week Skoda showed us where it’s going with the reveal of the Vision RS concept at the Paris Auto Show. Now it’s giving us our first glimpse of how that show car will transition into production.
Previewed here is the Czech marque’s forthcoming new five-door hatchback, set to be revealed before the end of this year.
Though it didn’t indicate what that new model will be called, the teaser image is labeled Spaceback, which is the handle it applies to the pseudo-wagon version of the Rapid. This new model is expected to replace the current Rapid (typically sold as a four-door sedan) with a more conventional five-door hatchback body-style, closer to that of the Golf made by sister-brand Volkswagen.
Rather than adopt the Golf’s platform, however, the new Skoda will employ the VW Group’s latest A0 MQB platform. The modular architecture has seen numerous iterations over the years, and serves as the basis for the Skoda Fabia. But the automaker indicates that this will be a new version of the platform that it’ll use here for the first time.
Expect it to adopt the design language previewed by the Vision RS concept as well, ushering in a new styling direction for the entire marque and the next generation of vehicles to follow.
We’d also expect it to offer a variety of powertrain options – most of them geared towards economy. But the bigger question on our mind is whether it’ll lead to an RS model. Skoda has, for the past several years, reserved the performance treatment for the larger Octavia, and hasn’t employed on the smaller Fabia for some time now. But it’s now rolling out a new Kodiaq RS performance crossover, and given the orientation of the Vision RS concept, we’re holding out hope that the Rapid’s replacement previewed here will pack a punch all its own.