Skoda will introduce the new Rapid saloon to its range at the end of the year and fill the gap between its Fabia supermini and Octavia hatchback.
The five-door Rapid saloon was originally unveiled as the MissionL concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2011 and the production-ready Rapid model stays true to the concept.
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The new iteration of Skoda's design language has been carried across to the Rapid making it the first production model to feature it. Although the new Rapid is labelled as a 'saloon', its compact body style echoes that of a hatchback.
Like the Octavia, a five-door that resembles a saloon, the Rapid appears to fall between the two segments, but Skoda says the car is intended as a C-segment small family car like the Volkswagen Gold, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
However, the Rapid is expected to undercut those cars by up to several thousand pounds - Skoda says the car will offer more space and better value than its competitors. Some sources suggest the Skoda Rapid will sell from as little as £12,500.
Skoda believes the market for small, affordable cars can only grow in coming years - with developing markets like Russia and China accounting for ever greater shares of global car sales.
The new design language of the Rapid includes a larger front grill, which is slightly akin to the tiger nose design of the Kia range, and smaller squinted headlights that ultimately give it a sportier appeal. Strong contours on the Rapid's bonnet and flanks also suggest a bolder design dynamic.
Extensive engine details have not yet been announced but it is said to feature five petrol and two diesels. A sub 100g/km is likely to be amongst these powertrains.
The new Skoda Rapid is to be released at the end of 2012 and will make its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.
In 2011 Skoda saw nearly a ten per cent increase in sales compared to 2010 and the brand has stayed strong throughout 2012 as its January sales figures increased over 20 per cent and its April sales figures increased 16 per cent.
Alongside its sales success, Skoda has won a few awards this year including the Auto Express Driver Power survey, in which it claimed first and second place with its Yeti and Superb models.