Skoda says it will rename its Rapid compact hatchback the Scala when the new model goes on sale next year. The car’s name comes from the Latin word for “ladder,” Skoda said in a statement.
The Scala was previewed as the Vision RS concept that was unveiled at the Paris auto show this month.
The name change signifies the step up Volkswagen Group's Czech subsidiary has made with the new car, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier explained in the statement. “This is a completely new development that sets standards in terms of technology, safety and design in this class,” he said.
The Scala will be pitched further upmarket compared with the current budget Rapid to create a more credible rival for cars such as the Ford Focus.
“I think the problem of the current Rapid is maybe it’s too low-market. Maybe we went too far toward value for money,” Bjorn Kroll, Skoda's head of product marketing and the brand’s commercial leader on electric cars, said at a preview of the concept ahead of the Paris show. “With this one, we tried to balance it out.”
Skoda said the car would offer innovative features that “have only been seen in higher segments,” without being specific about those features.
The Scala will be engineered for Europe on the VW Group’s small-car MQB A0 platform. The current model uses a version of the low-cost PQ platform.
The name change also signifies a break with the Rapid sold in China and Russia. A future replacement for the Rapid in those markets is expected to use an updated version of the PQ platform to keep costs down.
Instead of a badge, the Scala will feature the word Skoda affixed to the tailgate -- the first Skoda to feature this, the brand said.
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