Skoda is going back to the drawing board to replace the Rapid as the principal compact model in its lineup, and in the process, they came up with a brand new name.
Scala is the handle it’s settled on, drawn from the Latin word for “stairs” or “ladder” to signify the step forward that the Czech automaker is aiming to take with this new model.
“With the new Škoda Scala, we are opening a fresh chapter in Škoda’s compact class,” said the company’s CEO Bernhard Maier. “This is a completely new development that sets standards in terms of technology, safety and design in this class. We are confident that the Scala has the best chance of redefining the A-segment for Škoda.”
The new model was previewed in the form of the dynamic-looking Vision RS concept at the Paris Auto Show just a couple of weeks ago. The production version likely won’t look quite as sporty – at least not until an RS performance variant arrives – but it is expected to retain the show car’s five-door hatchback body-style, and ditch the sedan (or wagon) form of the outgoing Rapid.
The move is anticipated to put the Scala in a more direct competition with the likes of the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf, embracing a shape (and its inherent versatility) more popular among European customers. As for North American buyers, it’s highly unlikely that Skoda would ever ship the Scala across the Atlantic.