Skoda Auto India has stopped accepting bookings for the base variant of the Rapid sedan. Called Rider, this trim was introduced with the 1.0-litre TSI engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox at an ex-showroom price of INR 7.49 lakh.
In a tweet, Zac Hollis, Director – Skoda Auto India, has confirmed the same and cited overwhelming demand as the reason for the halt in bookings.
Due to the incredible demand for Rapid Rider we have had to stop taking orders to make sure we can cover the existing order bank. We will reopen orders for this model as soon ass possible.
— Zac Hollis (@Zac_Hollis_) July 9, 2020
The Skoda Rapid Rider, the sedan’s base variant, was offered with the VW Group’s brand new 1.0-litre, turbocharged engine which cranks out 110 PS of power and 175 Nm of peak torque. At a price which placed it as a full-size C-sedan among compact examples, powered by a strong motor, the Rapid Rider offered tremendous value for money. Although it was offered in only two colour options and with steel wheels, it was a mechanically-sorted vehicle which could easily be upgraded with aftermarket components.
In the absence of the Rider variant, the Ambition is now the new entry-level trim. It retails at INR 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom) and is also powered by the 1.0-litre TSI engine, mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Over and above the features offered on the Rider trim, it gets LED DRLs, a 16.51 cm Drive Audio infotainment system, rear defogger, 15″ alloy wheels, chrome inserts on the front grille, around the windows and inside the cabin, front and rear fog lights, an illuminated glovebox, a multi-function display for the driver, audio and phone controls on the steering wheel, electrically folding ORVMs, leather-wrapped steering and gear shifter, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, remote opening and closing of windows, and an anti-theft alarm.
There are murmurs that a new Rider Plus variant could be introduced at a price of around INR 8 – 8.5 lakh with some additional features which were not available on the base trim. Although not available as of now, the well-priced Rider version generated a lot of interest for the Skoda Rapid, a sedan which is showing its age now. The tweet above is proof of the same and for what is the company’s bread and butter model for India, Skoda would do well to bring it back and keep the excitement alive.