Out in the open: Official images of the European 2013 Skoda Rapid
Czech automaker Skoda has just released official images of the European 2013 Skoda Rapid. this car, like the Indian Rapid sedan, will be positioned in between the Fabia hatchback and the Octavia/Laura in the international markets as well. The upcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show is where the European Rapid will make it debut. Sales are expected to begin by the end of this year. The biggest change between the Indian and European models of the Rapid is with respect to the styling. The European Rapid features an all new front end and rear, which looks more contemporary than the Indian version.
Apart from the stylistic changes, expect higher quality interiors on the European Rapid, which is usually the case with most cars sold in mature car markets. Dimensionally, the European Rapid(4.48 meters long) is longer than the Indian Rapid by about 120 mm but the width remains the same at 1.7 meters. The wheelbase though remains unknown for now although we expect it to be the same as the Indian version. The increase in length appears to be mainly due to the stylistic changes on the European version of the Rapid. Coming to the engine options, Skoda has lined up no less than 7 variants, in both petrol and diesel.
Five variants of petrol engines and two variants of diesel engines will be in the mix. The petrol engines will mainly consist of turbocharged versions with direct injection. The 1.2 Liter TSI turbo petrol engine will be available in three states of tune. Being a three cylinder unit, expect the 1.2 TSI unit to be frugal as well. A 74 Bhp, 84 Bhp and 104 Bhp variant of the 1.2 TSI unit will be made available. The other petrol engine will be the 1.4 TSI unit outputting 120 Bhp. The other petrol engine is expected to be the 1.6 Liter naturally aspirated version delivering 105 Bhp.
Coming to the diesel engines, the 1.6 Liter four cylinder TDI turbo diesel unit will be available in two states of tune, 89 Bhp and 105 Bhp. The European Rapid represents a very important launch for Skoda in Europe as this car sits in a high volume segment in the European market which is clearly demanding more fuel efficient cars, that are affordable too. The Skoda Rapid will seat five adults, just like the Indian variant although the fifth passenger on the rear seat will be a veritable squeeze, especially for European adults. Nevertheless, expect this car to be a big volume product for the Volkswagen group owned Czech brand.