Skoda introduced the BS6 compliant Rapid in May 2020 and since then, its base-spec Rider variant has been in the news. Mainly because of its disruptive pricing. It garnered so much attention that the company had to halt its bookings for a short while and had to introduce the Rider Plus variant. The same has happened again but this time around, the company had to take it off its official website. However, the delisting of the Skoda Rapid Rider from the website is only temporary and the Rider variant is expected to make a return sometime in 2021.
What’s worth noting here is that, reportedly, Skoda is also readying a facelifted version of the Rapid which should arrive in India sometime next year.
Skoda Rapid is currently available in five variants, namely, Rider Plus, Ambition, Onyx, Style, and Monte Carlo with prices starting at INR 7.99 (ex-showroom, India). Skoda had priced the Rider variant at Rs 7.49 lakh, which was even cheaper than the Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Turbo which is priced from Rs 7.75 lakh. Even with a starting price of Rs 7.99 lakh now, the Rapid continues to remain the most affordable sedan in its segment. In response to a user’s tweet asking if the company had discontinued the Rapid Rider variant, Zac Hollis, Director – Sales, Marketing and Service, Skoda India, said the company has temporarily stopped accepting orders for the Skoda sedan in India as it seeks to clear the existing customer orders.
Rider variant details
More about the Rider variant — this entry-level iteration comes equipped with the most basic features and provisions such as an automatic AC, 2-DIN audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, etc. For safety, it was offered with provisions such as dual front airbags, ABS, and rear parking sensors as standard. While the now-discontinued Rider variant was offered with the same 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine (110PS/175Nm) as its other variant siblings, it came mated only to a 6-speed MT gearbox. Skoda offers an optional 6-speed torque converter unit from the new base-spec Rider Plus variant onwards.
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The Skoda Rapid rivals the likes of fifth-gen Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Volkswagen Vento. While it might not be as feature-rich as some of its rivals, the Rapid offers great driving dynamics and comes with an affordable price tag.