What Is The Difference Between A Skoda Rapid And A Skoda Rapid?

…quite a lot if the first one is from India and the second one from Europe.

Images: Skoda India and Skoda UK.
Images: Skoda India and Skoda UK.

As a service to our eagle-eyed readers I have looked up details on the Skoda Rapid’s Indian and European incarnations. I am a bit embarrassed I did not spot the fact I posted an Indian-market Rapid instead of a European one. The Indian Rapid has two engine options: a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol and a 1.5 litre four cylinder diesel. They turn out 77 kW or 104 PS respectively.

It has front discs and rear drum brakes. The front axles have McPherson struts with lower triangular links and torsion stabilisers. The rear is a compound crank axle. The wheel base stretches 2552 mm. Lengthiness: 4386 mm; and there are 1699  mm to be found crammed between the sides while the summit lies at 1466 mm above ground level. The fuel tank holds 55 litres. Kerb weight is 1145 kg.

2015 Skoda Rapid, Indian-market interior: Skoda India
2015 Skoda Rapid, Indian-market interior: Skoda India

Turning to the European Rapid, it has a 1.2 TSI petrol good for 90 PS and our old friend the  1.4 TSI petrol cranking out 125 PS. The diesels are comprised of a 1.4 TDI with 90 PS on tap and a 1.6 capable of producing 115 PS. The wheel base is 2602 mm (longer than the Indian one by 50 mm). Length is 4483 mm, width 1706 and height is 1461 mm. Details on the suspension and brakes are well hidden at Skoda’s UK website and I didn’t feel like rooting around for a whole morning to find them.

For completeness’ sake here are the stats for the VW Polo (which is not available as a saloon in the UK).  The wheelbase is 2470 mm. Length 3970mm, width 1682 (not including mirrors), height 1453-1462 mm.

Those wheelbases again:

VW Polo: 2470 mm .Rapid India: 2552 mm. Rapid Europe: 2602 mm.  And the 2007 Fabia has a wheelbase of 2462 mm. That’s four different figures. Isn’t it remarkable that Skoda could not hold the Indian Rapid’s wheelbase to that of the car it was evidently based on. 10 mm is not a small difference but it still means a lot of work in elongating some parts which could have been carried over.

Skoda UK’s evasive website is discouraging whereas Skoda India’s was very easy to navigate and had quite a cheerful feeling to it.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

9 thoughts on “What Is The Difference Between A Skoda Rapid And A Skoda Rapid?”

  1. There’s something in your paragraph about wheelbases which I don’t understand (about “not holding the wheelbase”). The Indian Rapid is a copy of the Polo saloon, and from what I could get out of German Wikipedia, this has a wheelbase 82 mm longer than the hatchback Polo. That would be exactly the 2552 mm you state for the I-Rapid. So what makes you think there is a 10 mm difference? Or do you have other figures than I have found? Sometimes I find different data for the same car in different language versions of Wikipedia.

  2. What I think I meant was that the Indian Skoda could perhaps have had exactly the same wheelbase as the Fabia of 2007 with which it evidently shares a lot. But you say there’s a Polo saloon with the same wheelbase. That’s news to me – it’s hard to keep a track of VAG’s blizzard of platforms/undercarriages. Which year of Polo saloon and which market have you in mind?

  3. Yes, the Russian saloon is the I-Rapid’s clone. Apparently, it’s also sold in India as the VW Vento. While the Rapid’s front end might suggest a close relationship to the 2007 Fabia, it’s probably only the headlights that are shared. The a-pillar and door pressings clearly say 2009 Polo. How closely Fabia and Polo are related, I could not find out in my quick research. Maybe iterations of the same platform, leading to an 8 mm wheelbase difference?

  4. Clearly the platform management is out of control. Generally the situation is one where VAG is selling multiple small variations on what is conceptually the same car. They need one wheelbase/body architecture which can support engines compatible between brands and major interior trim so that, for example, nobody has to remodel b-pillar hard trim or even a dashboard for a Vento and Polo or a Fabia EU, Rapid EU and Rapid India.
    Someone will doubtless write to tell me this is what MQB is about.

  5. Nothing wrong with recycling a platform while there is still demand for cheap new motoring somewhere in the world. Re-modelling a dashboard, let alone a b-pillar trim, is cheap compared to designing and tooling a new platform. And who says the new platform is better anyway?

    As for MQB – it’s the future of recycling. There’s a good chance there will still be ‘new’ MQB-based cars being made in 20 years time.

  6. Richard, I don’t think VW was as bad in platform management as you suggest. Actually, being built on one platform does not mean there has to be only one wheelbase. The Polo hatchback’s wheelbase was just extended by 8 cm for the Polo saloon / Vento / I-Rapid, but much of the car stays the same. This is done quite often to make a saloon or estate out of a compact car. The dashboard moulding of the Rapid that you presented is actually the same as on the European Polo, and I bet the same is true for the B-pillar trim. I guess that the additional wheelbase is in the rear door / rear seats area, which of course will differ between the longer and shorter versions.

  7. Perhaps “bad” is too strong a word for it. Sloppy? I assume that if you can keep the wheelbases the same you can avoid reworking things like the b-pillar, carpets, headliner, door skins, door cappings and anything under the car that crosses from the old floor pan´s front to the extended area. I imagine that an 8 cm difference demands the redesign of 100s of parts both large and small with the resultant burden of managing that swarm of bits in the supply chain. Someone else might say this cost is negligible and the management issue nothing to worry about. It upsets my tidy mind.

  8. I like it tidy, too. That’s why I abhor big-booted cars being put on inappropriate wheelbases. I’m glad VW put at least some minor variations into their badge-engineered clones. Too many cars have already been ruined by digging too deep in corporations’ parts bins.

    On a more objective level, one could argue that, for a market that needs a car with enough boot and rear seat space for a family without demanding the refinement, engine choice, or assistant systems of a larger car, it might be the more economical alternetive for a manufacturer to stretch a small platform instead of using a bigger, more expensive one.

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