Skoda India has temporarily stopped accepting bookings for the Rapid Rider sedan. The company hasn’t officially revealed any reason for this action. However, sources suggest that the variant received a lot more bookings than it had forecasted. As a result, it is sitting on a large order book that might take up to 2 months to clear, going by the current production capacity. There are also some rumours indicating that Skoda might introduce a small price hike on the Rapid Rider when bookings eventually resume.
The Skoda Rapid Rider was launched in India in May 2020 at a price of Rs. 7.49 lakh (ex-showroom). At this price, this entry-level variant of the Rapid sedan was not only a lot cheaper than other C-segment sedans like the Honda City & Maruti Ciaz, but was also extremely close to top variants of the compact sedans like the Maruti Dzire, Ford Aspire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent.
Owing to this aggressive pricing, there was a tremendous demand for the Rapid Rider. In fact, out of all bookings received by the Czech automaker in the last month, the Skoda Rapid Rider accounted for over 30 percent. This demand has shocked even the Skoda bosses who didn’t anticipate such market interest. As a result, there is a gap between the demand and supply, with waiting period of the Skoda Rapid Rider going up to 3 months in a few cities.
The Rapid Rider comes with a new 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. It generates 110 PS and is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. As of now, there is no automatic gearbox on offer.
However, Skoda India has confirmed that a few additional variants will be launched soon. This includes a new Rider Plus trim that will sit between the Rapid’s Rider (7.49 lakh) and Ambition (9.99 lakh) trim. Additionally, a 6-speed automatic gearbox will also be offered soon in the Rapid Rider automatic variant.