Skoda unveils new Rapid and Rapid Spaceback for China

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 Mar 2020

The Skoda Rapid has received a comprehensive update for the Czech carmaker's largest single market, China. With the revised exterior, Skoda's sedan and hatchback version of the Rapid  Spaceback now have a more youthful dynamic appearance, and the interior has also been upgraded.

The Rapid and the Rapid Spaceback are powered by an efficient 1.5 MPI petrol drivetrain that produces 111hp and 145 Nm torque and is mated to a manual five-speed gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission. With an average fuel consumption of 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres and correspondingly low emissions, the engine already complies with the strict China VI b emissions standard that will only come into effect from July 2023.

The Rapid and Rapid Spaceback were developed in close collaboration between the technical development department at Skoda and the joint venture partner SAIC Volkswagen in Shanghai. A new infotainment system offers modern vehicle networking via the Skoda Banma Intelligent Interconnection System.

Meanwhile, the Skoda Rapid has reached its first milestone in China: The 22,000,000th vehicle built by SAIC Volkswagen in China was a car in this series, while the 22,000,001st immediately following it was a Rapid Spaceback. The new Skoda Rapid and the Rapid Spaceback hatchback version are now available for purchase on the Chinese market and can also be ordered online.

The revised exterior features a redesigned Skoda grille, flatter, tapered headlights and new horizontal taillights. In addition to new trims and upholstery fabrics, the interior also benefits from a new infotainment system with vehicle connectivity via Banma, a joint venture between the Alibaba Group and SAIC Volkswagen.

Rapid Sedan
The Skoda Rapid sedan is 4,512 millimetres long, 1,706 millimetres wide and 1,469 millimetres tall. With a wheelbase measuring 2,603 millimetres, it provides passengers with a generous amount of space and comfort, with plenty of legroom at the front and rear. The boot has a capacity of 466 litres, complemented by up to 14 storage solutions. The redesigned interior exudes a premium feel and is available in two colour-ways: dazzling black and black/brown.

Among other new details, the Rapid comes with a multifunction steering wheel, a rear-view camera and the Skoda Banma Intelligent Interconnection System. This includes a TFT LCD monitor with an 8-inch screen and a user interface featuring the playing-card design that is popular in China, along with voice control. Other features include over-the-air updates and advanced Android and Apple smartphone connectivity along with other online services such as the Amap navigation app, the Kuwo music streaming service or the Tingban online radio.

Rapid Spaceback
The new Skoda Rapid Spaceback is a stylish hatchback model. It features redesigned wide, split tail- lights which, in tandem with the reflectors in the rear apron, create the light graphic. The rear design is rounded off with a chrome strip towards the bottom of the bumper.

The Rapid Spaceback can be customised with various design packages with black elements, including an extended black panoramic rear window, black roof, black wing mirror housings and tail lights with a smoky black finish.

The hatchback measures 4,312 millimetres in length and 1,475 millimetres in height. Its width and wheelbase are identical to the sedan version, as is the 1.5 MPI engine delivering 111hp, with a choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The luggage compartment has a 372-litre capacity, which can be increased to as much as 1,255 litres by folding down the rear seats. The ESP stability programme enhances safety on the road, along with tyre pressure monitoring and other safety systems.