Poor sales of the Rapid made Skoda drop it altogether in the Western world and replace it with the Scala compact hatchback.
However, the Rapid continues to live on in certain markets, such as Russia, where it has been in production since 2014, two years after assembly started in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic. And it’s those markets that are about to welcome a new model for 2020.
At this point, Skoda won’t reveal whether we’re looking at a facelifted iteration or an entirely new product, but it did call it “the new Rapid”. It’s said to have a modern look, balanced proportions and uniquely-shaped headlights flanking the hexagonal grille.
While the design would have you think that it might very well be a sedan or rather, a liftback version of the Scala, a closer look at the render shows that it has the same hood shape, as well as bumper lines where it connects to the front fender as the older Rapid (see images of both below).
This makes us lean on the heavy facelift theory with inspiration coming from the Scala, meant to keep it on the competitive side in Russia for at least a few more years, until Skoda decides the approach for its successor.
Either way, the mystery will unravel in a couple of months, as the revamped Rapid will premiere in Russia at the end of the year, according to Skoda’s local branch. Like the outgoing iteration, it will be put together at the Kaluga plant, which is located 150 km (93 mi) southwest of Moscow.
While the Rapid is built on the VW Group’s old A05+ platform, its successor, the Scala, is the brand’s first model based on the MQB A0 architecture. It’s almost as big as the Golf Mk7, which is about to be replaced by the Mk8, and benefits from clever packaging that leads to interior dimensions similar to the larger Octavia. But you can read all about the Scala using our dedicated hub here.