The Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf rival will be revealed in full later this year, but this sketch is our best look yet at the car’s innards. It shows the hatch will be the first Skoda to benefit from its new-generation infotainment, with a 9.2in freestanding central screen and a 10.25in Virtual Cockpit instrument display – the largest screen combo in its class.
The new system features over-the-air updates and new mobile app functions. Elsewhere in the cabin, new materials have been employed including a microfibre fabric for the seats, alongside ambient lighting.
The Scala will effectively replace the Rapid hatchback in the Czech firm’s line-up. Scala is a Latin word that means ‘stairs’ or ‘ladder’, and company boss Bernhard Maier said that it represents Skoda’s next step forward in the compact segment. The Scala will also be the first Skoda to feature the brand’s name instead of the logo on the rear boot lid.\
Maier said the Scala is “a completely new development that sets standards in terms of technology, safety and design in this class”.
Skoda sales and marketing boss Alain Favey confirmed to Autocar earlier this year that the hatchback would not be called Rapid, instead taking a new name.
Favey said: “How should I put this? Our presence [in this segment] is very humble. With the current Rapid Spaceback, we didn’t manage to come through to convince people that we are a credible competitor in this segment.”
He added that the new car would have completely fresh styling and technology.
Skoda will drop the slow-selling liftback version and concentrate on the Spaceback hatch for the Rapid replacement.
The next Fabia, due in 2020, and Skoda’s upcoming baby SUV, previewed by the Vision X concept, are also due to use this architecture.
Skoda said the platform will allow the new hatchback to have “compact exterior dimensions and generous interior space”. It added that the car would use “numerous innovative assistance systems in that segment”.
It will also be the first Skoda to receive a next-generation infotainment system that will then be rolled out across the range. Favey has described it as “state of the art”.
The model will use a range of petrol and diesel engines, including the Volkswagen Group’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol with power from 84bhp to 109bhp, as well as a 1.5-litre petrol unit with up to 148bhp. No hybrid or electric versions are planned and are understood to be too expensive to implement in a car of this size and price.
The Rapid is Skoda’s second-biggest-selling car worldwide after the Octavia. In 2017, it sold 211,000 units. Favey predicts that sales will double for the new model.
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