INTRODUCING THE POSSIBILITY OF A SUBSTANTIALLY CHEAP, RELATIVELY PREMIUM, COMPARATIVELY GOOD-LOOKING AND IMPRESSIVELY POWERFUL SKODA RAPID VRS SPORTS COUPE. . . . . IT CAN BE SURPRISINGLY STUPENDOUS!
•A potential Rapid VRS with Volkswagen’s 190bhp powerplant will be the ideal niche product for the company.
•The 190bhp powerplant will provide an impressive power output while avoiding the torque-steer cause by introducing more than 200bhp in a FWD car without expensive differentials.
•Rapid VRS will be able to capitalize on Fabia’s racing pedigree and Skoda's branding, while giving the people an ideal premium-esque sports-coupe.
•With effective production cost management, Rapid VRS coupe can give the likes of BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class a run for their money.
Reports are out stating that the upcoming Polo GTI will be launched sometime in September 2016. The three-door hot-hatchback with the 190bhp power plant for a heart will be showcased at the upcoming Indian Auto Expo, but I don’t think that will be enough to deliver the German automaker with its salvation. The key to Volkswagen’s redemption lies in batch engineering and in a potential Rapid VRS coupe rendition.
You see, the upcoming hatchback has hit the power output sweet-spot with the 190bhp mill because as you cross the 200bhp mark with a front-wheel drive car, the handling characteristics are significantly compromised by the generation of overpowering torque-steer. A perfect example of this is the Ford Focus ST. So, with the exception of developing an obscenely expensive front differential to accommodate an unreasonable amount of power, it’s substantially more convenient for Volkswagen to restrain its powerplant just under the impressive 200bhp mark.
Another reason that makes Skoda Rapid the ideal contender for this project is its racing pedigree. The Fabia hatchback, on which this particular sedan is based on, has won the WRC championship on multiple occasions and on various pole positions. You might question why not just come out with a more powerful Fabia then and the answer is that there are preconceived notions that surround a hatchback (choti gaadi). In addition, the contemporary design of the Rapid sedan also provides a premiere-esque lure, which helps it stand apart from the crowd as compared to the hoard of unostentatious Ventos. The car should be based on the 3-door platform so as to further enhance the sporty appeal of the Rapid VRS as a coupe.
This project will also act as an opportunity for Skoda to introduce the next-gen aesthetics of this sedan as a niche product. The price difference between the Polo GTI hot-hatchback and Rapid VRS sports-sedan will not be drastic if effective production cost management is implemented and if the new “Jalebi video” by Volkswagen has taught us anything, this is that Germans can be substantially efficient. The car will claim dominance over a segment of its own, while rendering the likes of BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and others relatively redundant and with a moniker like “Rapid” VRS, this serendipitously has to be the car’s destiny.