NH Rapid Spaceback
1 May 2014
AFTER nearly seven years back in Australia without a competitively priced and positioned small-car proposition, Skoda finally makes amends with the Rapid Spaceback.
Three models are available – the base Ambition 77TSI 1.2-litre turbo manual, the Ambition 90TSI 1.4-litre turbo DSG ‘automatic’ and a 90TSI DSG Elegance.
Currently there are no plans for the sedan-shaped Rapid Liftback five-door alternative, nor is there a turbo-diesel or RS performance version in the pipeline for the time being.
Made in Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic, the well-equipped, five-star ANCAP-rated Rapid is loosely based on the Volkswagen Group’s A05+ platform – a larger evolution of the existing Polo’s PQ25 architecture that’s designed to maximise rear-seat passenger space and luggage capacity.
Typical of Volkswagen Group cars that prioritise low pricing, the front suspension consists of MacPherson struts with coil springs while the rear end is of a torsion beam arrangement.
The base Spaceback has its front wheels driven by a 1197cc 1.2-litre direct-injection overhead cam four-cylinder 77TSI petrol engine and six-speed manual combo developing 77kW of power at 5000rpm and 175Nm of torque between 1550rpm and 4100rpm.
For an auto Spaceback buyers must step up to the 1390cc 1.4-litre direct-injection overhead cam four-cylinder 90TSI unit delivering 90kW at 5000rpm and 200Nm from 1500-4000rpm via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
The Rapid was first unveiled in 2012 as the Liftback with the Spaceback following a year later.
When it was new