The Skoda Rapid automatic launch is set for tomorrow, and it looks like the Czech brand will once again deliver a shock starting price. Read on to know more.
Rapid auto could get a starting price less than Rs 10 lakh (on road)
Will likely become the most affordable automatic mid-size sedan
Powered by a 110hp 1.0 TSI engine with a 6-speed torque-converter auto
Remember the Skoda Rapid Rider 1.0 TSI – the model that, thanks mainly to its killer price, managed to gain such popularity, bookings had to be temporarily halted? Well, Skoda seems set to do this it all over again with the auto-gearbox-equipped Rapid. The new entry-level automatic will likely be higher-specced than the Rider, and the price gap to the rest of its range, and so the market, may not be as large, but if Skoda has anything up its sleeve, it is yet another killer price.
But just how much of a killer price are we talking about here? Dealers we spoke to said the indicative price of the car would certainly make it the cheapest automatic equipped car in its class, and that could include the Maruti-Suzuki Ciaz Delta automatic at Rs 8.32 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the Toyota Yaris J-Optional CVT at Rs 9.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
In fact, if the market buzz is to be believed, even the on road price could be well below the 10-lakh-rupee mark.
What else do we know about the entry level Skoda Rapid automatic?
This entry model won’t be called the Rider. Likely to be better equipped than the Rider or Rider Plus, it should come with a touchscreen, alloy wheels and a few more significant pieces of kit that will help give it a bit more appeal.
The new 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox is shared with the Volkswagen Vento and Polo TSI, which also share the same 1.0-litre engine and overall architecture. It isn’t the same unit used in the old Rapid 1.6 MPI, however. This new Aisin-made unit comes with features like a manual sequential shift function and a sport mode.
While it isn’t likely to be as quick as a twin-clutch gearbox, the Rapid automatic should be more pleasing to drive than many of the car’s CVT-equipped competitors. And what is likely to make the driving experience nicer still is that the 175Nm of torque from the 1.0 TSI comes in from just 1,750rpm.
So, could the Skoda Rapid automatic, at an aggressive price, be even more alluring than the manual Rider? It certainly could, especially considering the rapid (no pun intended) pace at which an automatic gearbox is being demanded by customers at lower and lower price points.
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