Skoda is replacing its slow-selling Rapid with a larger five-door hatchback model that will be a genuine value-priced alternative to a Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus – and the firm has today released the first official teaser ahead of its full reveal later this year.
Set to go on sale in 2019, the Rapid replacement will take on a new name and a new positioning, as Skoda’s first genuine five-door family hatchback.
It will be derived from the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, in so-called ‘A0’ guise. This is the smaller version of the MQB architecture, seen in models such as the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza; the Volkswagen Golf uses the larger iteration, simply called MQB.
However, as the well-received Volkswagen T-Roc is also derived from MQB A0, don’t assume the new Skoda hatch will be as compact as the Rapid it replaces. It should slot in neatly between the Skoda Fabia and Skoda Octavia – and command a decent price saving over an entry-level Volkswagen Golf.
The five-door hatch will, says Skoda, come with a range of driver assistance systems, and offer a core range of 1.0-litre TSI and 1.4-litre TSI engines. There should be a diesel too, but the 1.6 TDI probably won’t be the strong seller it could have been just a few years ago.
The Paris Vision RS show car also suggests a hot hybrid version could be a possibility, perhaps using a high-power 48-volt battery system alongside a tuned-up TSI engine.
Skoda has promised we’ll see the new five-door family hatchback before the year is out, ahead of it going on sale in early 2019.