New name signals renewed ambition in the Focus-class

The replacement for the Rapid will be known as the Skoda Scala, the Czech automaker has announced overnight.

Scala means stairway or ladder in Latin, and Skoda claims the new car will help it "scale new heights".

The new Scala five-door has been previewed via some teaser images released after the Paris motor show, and its styling is expected to closely follow the Vision RS concept seen at the show in the French capital.

Like the concept car, the Scala will not use the brand's logo on the tailgate, but will instead feature Skoda written out prominently under the rear windscreen wiper and above the number plate area.

The Vision RS concept was 4356mm long, 1810mm wide, 1431mm tall, and sat on a 2650mm wheelbase.

If the Scala has similar figures, it will be the right length and, most importantly, correct width to compete with Europe's most popular hatchbacks, including the Ford Focus and Opel Astra.

Skoda says the new car will be based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB-A0 platform meaning it will "couple compact external dimensions with a roomy interior". It will likely mean the Scala is cheaper to produce than its internal rival, the Volkswagen Golf.