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NEW SKODA RAPID IN Q4 By Brian Foley

The new stylish SKODA Rapid will make it's public debut at the Paris show in September and is expected on the Irish market in Q4 of 2012 - pricing and specs. to be announced in advance.

The ŠKODA Rapid is a roomy, elegant, economic and affordable family saloon, incorporating the latest technology and some clever features. It will slot into the Skoda model range between the Fabia and Octavia, in a marketsegment that currently accounts for about 36 per cent of the world’s automobile sales. Within this class, saloons have a share of around 42 per cent. It is estimated that the number of cars of this type sold worldwide will rise by about 50 per cent by the year 2020.

The Rapid is the first ŠKODA to fully feature the brand’s new design identity “This is a car that gives out a clear statement at first glance: clear, precise, fresh and emotional,” says Eckhard Scholz, ŠKODA board member for technical development.

The styling is neat and attractive and devoid of gimmicks. The front end features the ŠKODA logo, rounded front edge of the bonnet, grille with chrome frame and vertical slats. The headlight ensemble is grouped at the front of the ŠKODA Rapid to form a cloverleaf shape.

There is a surprising amount of interior space within compact exterior dimensions (4.48 metres in length, 1.7 metres in width) for five occupants and their baggage. Being a ŠKODA automatically means value-for-money, but this will by no means be a cut-price model as it will have all the latest comprehensive safety equipment, top class furnishings and fitting, and build quality. Five petrol and one diesel engine will be available.