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Skoda reveals Europe-spec Rapid

Skoda has just published three teaser images of an upcoming entry-level sedan that will be called as the Rapid. The Volkswagen-owned automaker already sells a sedan model also called Rapid on the Indian market but the Europe-spec variant will reportedly be significantly different from it. The Europe-bound Rapid will likely use styling cues belongs to the MissionL, which is a concept that was shown last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

In European market, the Skoda Rapid will enter the gap in the Skoda lineup between the Skoda Fabia hatchback and the larger Octavia sedan. The base price for the Rapid starts at 13,000 Euros or about $16,900 and it will come generously equipped with standard ESP, ABS and numerous airbags in order to complete against similarly priced offerings from Hyundai, Chevrolet and Kia.

Skoda will borrow a page out of cost-cutting guide of Germany’s Volkswagen to reach the low projected base price. The Skoda Rapid will be partly based on Fabia hatchback and a torsion-beam rear suspension setup, which is similar to the one seen in the Jetta – a Volkswagen car that is sold in North American market. Furthermore, the automaker will make extensive use of hard platsics to the interior section of the car.

The engine given to the Skoda Rapid is expected to be a 1.2-liter TSI 4-cylinder, available with either 85 HP or 105 HP. Diesel lovers will be able to choose between 2 versions of TDI turbodiesel engines, which are 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter, which similarly used by Volkswagen. However, it seems that Skoda is being careful about how they position the new model in their lineup.

A discreet source coming from Skoda said that the company must ensure that the Rapid does not steal sales away from the existing Octavia. The car will not come with more than 140 HP or maybe even less.

The Rapid, a new midsize sedan from Czech

The Czech based automaker, Skoda, recently showed its MissionL Concept to the public that comes to the 2012 Beijing International Auto Show. However, the company also announced that the new compact sedan they displayed would be called as the Rapid when it is launched to the European market in the near future. According to the Czech company, the Skoda Rapid will start to go on sale next year in Chinese market. The announcement is not just a rumor because it is done by the boss, Winfried Vahland, when introducing the MissionL Concept recently.

Actually, “Rapid” is not a new name in the auto market because it has ever been introduced by the Czech company when it developed a coupe that will be sold in the UK in late 80s. The production of the car was however ceased in 1990. The “Rapid” is also used recently by the Czech automaker when it was launched an all-new sedan to the Indian market. The European and the Chinese Skoda Rapid would also sit between the Fabia and the Octavia in size and price. Apart from the Rapid sedan, the company also confirmed that the new Octavia is planned to debut in 2013. It will be larger and more expensive than the current model. The Octavia name will return with the next generation Laura.

The largest market of Skoda will still in the UK. In the Queen Elizabeth’s country, the Czech automaker is able to record a 5% of total sales. However, with the Chinese market development, Skoda is now increasingly focusing their target there. There, 25% of all vehicles sold are coming from Skoda. The price of the Skoda Rapid starts from 12.000 GBP. Apparently, Skoda now sees that the Asian market is also promising, which is why it would bring the Octavia to some countries in Asia after the global launch.

Skoda to launch the next-generation Fabia in 2014

An automotive website from Czech Republic reported that the next generation Fabia is ready to reach showrooms in 2014. They even post an image of the car, which they claim as the appearance of the car. The MK3 Fabia will be an all-new model with some major changes. The website also claimed that the 2012 version of the Skoda Fabia would be based on Volkswagen Modular Tranverse matrix (MQB) platform. It will also bring spacious space and increased boot space as well. The current Fabia model brings a boot of 315-liter, but the next generation Fabia, according to the website will be increased to 350-liter. If it is true, the Fabia will bring the largest boot space in its class but still under Honda’s Fit/Jazz.

The physical appearance of the 2014 Skoda Fabia looks sharper than the previous one and the exterior changes give it a very appealing accent. The next generation Fabia is largely based on the VisionD concept, so it will be lighter and brings a long wheelbase. Under its hood, Skoda will also put a range of all-new engines; two of them would be a 3-cylinder TDI unit 1.2-liter and petrol engine 1.2-liter. Both engine types will offer the same power as the current engines but Skoda claims that the new one will improve the fuel efficiency and better drivability. Most components we find in the 2014 Skoda Fabia will be also used by the next generation Volkswagen’s Polo, which will be launched to the market near in the future.

The current model of the Skoda Fabia was launched five years ago. In 2010, Skoda gave the car some minor changes and it could not cure the thirst of Skoda lovers around the world. That is the reason why the next generation Fabia with major changes has been highly awaited.

Skoda Snowman SUV will be launched in 2014

Some weeks ago, we reported that Skoda would produce and launch two SUVs in the coming years. We also wrote that the automaker feels that the SUV market is very important and still promising. The SUV from Skoda will be bigger than Yeti and a compact SUV under Yeti is also being planned to launch in the middle of this decade. Unfortunately, we did not get any images of the SUV because Skoda is still in the process of designing it. But recently, Skoda has released the name for one of the SUVs, which is the bigger one that will run above Yeti. Snowman is the name will be used by Skoda for the bigger SUV. They mentioned that the Snowman will be available in 2014 and the smaller one will be launched two years after.

The Skoda Snowman SUV will share the platform with Volkswagen’s Tiguan. It will also bring new design language that has been developed by Skoda and has ever been showcased on their VisionD Concept. There are a lot of benefits will be grabbedby the Skoda Snowman if using the same Tiguan’s platform. Some media even mentioned that the Snowman will apply the drivetrain found under Volkswagen Tiguan’s hood, which is a TDi unit 2.0-liter mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission. With the engine, Tiguan provides up to 170 PS, so the Snowman will record almost the same number.

Just for a comparison, Skoda’s Yeti brings Volkswagen Golf Mk5 and Polo Mk4 components and is due for an upgrade by 2014. The new Skoda’s models are imperative for the Czech automaker’s 2018 growth mission to reach 1.5 million units per annum of sales figure. The new cars will be very important for the company in the three key markets that account for a chunk of its sale, which are China, India and Russia.