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Scala nameplate set for new Skoda small hatchback

Skoda’s Scala small car heading Down Under while Kodiaq GT large SUV goes to China

16 Oct 2018

SKODA has named the successor to its Rapid small hatchback, with the model to be called Scala when it enters Australian showrooms by the end of next year, while a coupe version of its Kodiaq large SUV is exclusively set for the Chinese market.
Scala is the Latin word for stairway or ladder, with the Czech car-maker choosing the nameplate because “the Scala will see the whole Skoda brand scale new heights”.
Elaborating on this point, Skoda Auto chief executive officer Bernhard Maier added: “With the new Skoda Scala, we are proposing a new chapter in the compact class of Skoda.
“It is a completely new development that sets standards in terms of technology, safety and design in this class. Thus, we are confident that Scala has the best chance to redefine A-segment for Skoda.”
As such, the marque is promising that the Scala “will also offer features previously reserved for cars in higher segments”, such as an extensive suite of advanced driver-assist systems.
As reported, Mr Maier told GoAuto at the Paris motor show this month that the five-door model’s design is “only a fingerprint away” from that of the Vision RS concept that made its international debut at the annual event.
As shown in the fresh set of teaser images, the Scala’s tailgate will mimic the Rapid’s and be mainly glass, although the Skoda badge will not feature on it, with the brand’s name instead spelt out across its middle section.
Given that the Scala is confirmed to ride on Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB A0 platform that supports front- and all-wheel-drive set-ups, it “will couple compact external dimensions with a roomy interior”, according to Skoda.
A high-performance RS variant is also on the cards, with the plug-in hybrid Vision RS previewing a set-up that combines a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a 75kW electric motor for a combined power output of 180kW.
Sales of the Rapid have taken a hit this year, with 337 examples sold to the end of September – a 4.5 per cent dip over the 353 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
Nonetheless, the Rapid is at the back of the pack in the sub-$40,000 small-car segment, trailing the Toyota Corolla (27,687 units), Mazda3 (24,344), Hyundai i30 (21,989), Volkswagen Golf (15,066) and Kia Cerato (14,725), among others.
Meanwhile, Skoda has released design sketches of the Kodiaq GT, a coupe-style take on the seven-seater that entered Australian showrooms in June last year.
However, local fans of the large SUV are out of luck, as the Kodiaq GT and its sloping roofline will be exclusively sold in China – the marque’s largest market, with every fourth vehicle it builds sold there.
As a result, the Kodiaq GT will become the second Skoda model, after the recently revealed Kamiq small SUV, that is only available in the Chinese market.
The Kodiaq has enjoyed success in its first full year on sale Down Under, with the 1100 units sold to the end of September – good enough for 17th place in the highly competitive sub-$70,000 large-SUV segment led by the Toyota Prado (14,239).

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