Skoda’s Lauretta is now the Rapid (nothing to do with a certain Rapide) again after being briefly termed as the Lauretta. At the rolling-out ceremony in Chakan, Skoda Chairman Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland commented, “The Rapid is a true reflection of our motto ‘Simply Clever’.”
From the pictures it was pretty clear this Skoda has been put together using a collection of familiar elements. And then more than a few from VW, Skoda’s sister concern. And luckily for Skoda it all translates into an attractive design. The front profile will remind you of Skoda Fabia whereas from the side view, the car can easily be mistaken as the VW Vento. But, combining it all does translates into the car looking like a mature sedan should and looks ready to rub shoulders with the likes of Honda City and Hyundai Verna.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the headlights, the grille and the fogs are similar to Skoda’s Fabia. To assist Skoda with merging its design elements with VW bits, there’s a new bonnet, new fenders and a mildly altered chin. The bonnet seems to be longer than the Fabia, the new fender can be seen with the Vento’s sharp crease built into it and the chin appears slightly altered at the corners, and this is where it blends well with the Vento’s beautifully executed wheel arches. As it should have been, the rear is different from the VW Vento too. You sure will have to compare the pictures directly with a Vento, but you can tell Skoda’s ‘C’ motif has been inserted in the tail-lights, the area where the number plate sits has been altered too and there is some more. With the bumper being a new, more sculpted unit.
The engines will be shared with the Vento too – a 1.6-litre, 105bhp petrol and a 1.6-litre 105bhp diesel.
Keeping the positioning of the two brands and also the positioning of Fabia and Polo in mind, you can also expect the Rapid to be priced slightly below the Vento. And then, there’s also the possibility of Skoda launching an even wallet-friendly version, with some kit omitted. Looks like the vacuum created by the popular Octavia going defunct will be removed once we have the new car launched. With more and more competition increasing in the segment, expect a lucrative price and a really strong sales push from Skoda. Let us wait and watch if Rapid’s sells rapidly !!
So what would it be for you? The Vento or the Rapid, if you were to buy into the C-segment?
Images: Siddharth Patankar / team-bhp