The mid-size sedan segment has been greatly affected by the launch of the 2014 Honda City. While Hyundai added a couple of new variants to the Verna, Volkswagen added a 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine under the Vento’s hood while the Skoda Rapid got a minor update with new logos, steering wheel, etc. Now Skoda is planning to launch an updated version of the Rapid by October. The Rapid is a re-badged Vento and features similar build materials, mechanicals and drivetrains. The 2015 Skoda Rapid won’t be an all-new version but it will feature new engines and revised interiors.
Skoda will be plonking in a 1.5-litre TDI diesel engine under the hood of the Rapid. This engine is more efficient compared to the 1.6-litre TDI unit that currently powers the sedan. The 1.5-litre engine will also help Skoda get some excise benefits when it launches the sub 4-metre version of the Rapid next year. The 1.5-litre oil-burner produces 103 HP of power and Skoda has already started testing the engine in India. This powerplant will be mated to a DSG transmission and most likely it is going to be a wet-clutch 6-speed unit since the new 10-speed DSG by Volkswagen won’t be out by that time.
The 2015 Skoda Rapid is also likely to get the same 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine from the Vento. This engine is mated to a dry-clutch 7-speed DSG and it will replace the 1.6-litre petrol engine with the 6-speed automatic gearbox. In short, the Vento and Rapid will continue to share engines. The 2015 Rapid won’t feature many cosmetic changes but the interiors will get a slight revamp and more features will be added to the list. The updated Skoda Rapid is expected to be priced at a slight premium over the current model.