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The Skoda Rapid Spaceback has been officially revealed ahead of its unveiling at September’s Frankfurt motor show.

The Rapid Spaceback hatch joins the Rapid liftback sedan in the Volkswagen-owned Czech brand’s new small-car family.

Skoda Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuiness told CarAdvice the Skoda Rapid Spaceback would arrive in local showrooms in the first half of 2014.

McGuiness admitted the local division’s original plan to introduce the Rapid liftback – initially scheduled to launch in mid 2013 – had been canned, however, as it focused its efforts on the five-door, which it believes will be the more popular variant.

“We wanted to wait for this model before launching the Rapid as it sits in the larger small hatch market,” he said.

“At this stage we’re just going to focus on our volume seller for now.”

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The Skoda Rapid Spaceback becomes the brand’s first true competitor in the small hatch segment, sitting between the city-sized Fabia and the larger Octavia to tackle the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf, and other top-selling compact cars.

The Spaceback shares its front-end styling with the Rapid liftback but is distinguishable from the side and rear where uniquely blends hatchback and wagon proportions.

Despite being 180mm shorter nose-to-tail, the Rapid Spaceback shares its 2602mm wheelbase with the liftback. Skoda says the hatch offers more rear headroom and legroom than its direct competitors, and has one of the largest rear cargo areas with the back seats upright (415 litres) or folded forwards (1380L) – though trails the dimensions of the liftback (550L/1490L).

Unique to the Spaceback is the optional double cargo floor, which allows the boot to be divided into two horizontal levels for added utility. The clever ice scraper in the fuel filler cap and the safety vest under the driver’s seat carry over from the liftback.

The Rapid Spaceback will be offered with four petrol and two diesel engines in Europe, with the most efficient of these consuming 3.8 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

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While specifications of the Australian line-up are yet to be confirmed, the 77TSI and 90TSI turbocharged petrol engines originally announced for the liftback are expected to be available from launch. In the liftback, the 77kW/175Nm 1.2-litre 77TSI consumes 5.0-5.4L/100km on the combined cycle and accelerates from 0-100km/h in 10.4 seconds, while the 90kW/200Nm 1.4-litre 90TSI consumes 5.3-5.8L/100km and sprints to triple figures in 9.5sec. These figures are expected to carry over to the Spaceback.

A diesel engine is also expected, likely the 66kW/230Nm 1.6-litre 66TDI that consumes 4.2-4.3L/100km in the sedan. All engines are available with five-speed (diesel)/six-speed (petrol) manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

More details will be revealed when the Skoda Rapid Spaceback debuts in Frankfurt in September.

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  • kakome

    wagon looks really good in red, i like it a lot.

    • marc gc

      Not a fan of the 90s styling inside and out.

  • James W

    What exactly is Skoda Australia up to?? First they canned the Citigo small car and now they’ve canned the Rapid Liftback. I can understand them saying no to the Citigo, but the Rapid Liftback?? I actually think the Liftback would’ve been a better seller, than this ‘mini-wagon’ look Rapid Spaceback.

    There are actually two proper Rapid sedans, not Liftbacks, that are available in other markets, in India and China, if Skoda Australia were serious about this segment of the market. The one in India is a rebadged Volkswagen Polo/Vento sedan and the other is a model derived from the European Rapid Liftback, which doesn’t look half bad.

    I think Skoda Australia should do some serious product research if they want to make some serious inroads to the Australian market.

    • Observer

      The Indian Rapid is actually a notchback version of the current Fabia.

      The Rapid (rest of world) is supposed to be a size up. And is a liftback variant. Skoda Australia decided to wait for the Spaceback (Hatchback, let’s be frank). Which I think is a great decision given the popularity of the Hatchbacks in Australia.

  • Observer

    Hmmm, from what I saw at the Sydney Motor Show the Rapid was pretty disappointing in person. Seems likely that Australia will source their vehicles from China. Scary…

  • 3D4

    This looks so much better than liftback.. Kinda A3 spaceback

  • Golfschwein

    That’s a neat little bus, I reckon.

  • marc

    Skoda 2014 range is looking very sharp.

  • Robin_Graves

    To all the people who reckon this looks good, either get your eyes checked or move back into the 20th century. If boring is your thing get a 2 year old corolla, at least it will last another 10 years without the shonky veedud mechanicals.

    • 3D4

      Shonky or not… They don’t need to be sponsored by government coz real people actualy buy them ;)

      • Robin_Graves

        Bwahaha yeah skoda set the sales charts on fire just like the veedud electricals. Veedud and skoda are propped up by the czech and german governments by a substantially greater amount of money than aussie manufacturers.

        • 3D4

          That’s BS

          • Robin_Graves

            No its not. Thats why a lot of manufacturers set up in the Czech republic.

          • 3D4

            Škoda been there for more than 100 years and you are boring..

          • Robin_Graves

            Not as boring as skoda styling. Do you own a beige cardigan? Good for skoda by the way. Veedud bought them in the early 90s. Doesnt change the government incentives they get along with the other manufacturers. At least Czech and slovakia have a future industry for their kids thats a little more technical than digging holes.

        • Jerry Thompson

          Mr Graves needs to look at the sales performance of VW and it’s associate manufacturers outside of Australia.. believe it or not, there is a bigger world outside of Australia and Skoda performs incredibly well in markets it’s been present for for more than a few years. Have a read about Skoda in the UK for example, read about how it has the highest satisfaction rating amongst Brits for however many years running. After that come back here and write about how ignorant you were as the rest of us will enjoy reading that.

          • Robin_Graves

            Yeah and lada sell well in Russia. Skoda are better than veedud because they get the older gen tech so their customers aren’t treated as guinea pigs.

    • azeng

      I think it looks good, and my eyes are perfectly fine, thank you. Speaking of the 20th century, that’s where I believe fat V6 sedans belong (not mentioning any names).

      • Robin_Graves

        Like the skoda superb? Inline 6 is better in my opinion.

        • 3D4

          Superb is not a sedan.. Never was…. People these days….

          • Robin_Graves

            So… skoda themselves are wrong and you are right? Go check their website then go straight to specsavers then learn to read.

          • 3D4

            Its a liftback with twin-door.. Not a sedan

          • Robin_Graves

            Go look at the skoda australia website and tell me the superb is not a sedan. I get the feeling I’m wasting my time trying to point out the facts to you anyway but here goes.

          • guest

            Robin there is two Superbs at my local auctioneer.Both 2011 models both under 40,000 kms,$17,500 ono.There almost $50,000 driveaway brandnew.The depreciation is one of the worst on the market.

        • azeng

          The Skoda Superb isn’t remotely close to being fat…it’s just very long. Also, it also has 1.8 turbo and 2.0 diesel engines, the V6 is very rare and doesn’t really need to exist anyway.

  • horsie

    Sporty small wagons are really starting to take off. Hello Holden, SRI Cruze wagon ?

  • Norm

    Great little budget wagon. Wouldn’t that be fun in RWD?

  • Tom

    Get me a vRS in red! DONE!