Skoda Vision RS concept hints at new Golf rival

Sporty concept unveiled at Paris Motor Show ahead of new Skoda Rapid launch

Skoda has unveiled its Vision RS concept at the Paris Motor Show, to provide a flavour of what the next Skoda Rapid hatchback will look like.

Although Skoda says that the Vision RS previews the look of future models with the high-performance RS badge, the concept's hatchback shape is close to that of the Skoda Rapid hatchback, which – having gone on sale in 2012 – is due for imminent replacement.

The RS Concept was revealed alongside the Skoda Kodiaq vRS, which recently established a seven-seat SUV lap record at the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany. The Kodiaq vRS is the first SUV to wear the RS initials, and signals that Skoda plans to increase the breadth and scope of its high-performance portfolio.

The Vision RS has been revealed as 4,356mm long, 1,810mm wide and 1,431 tall – a virtual match for the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Meanwhile, the concept has rear windscreen that stretches to between the rear light clusters; a styling cue shared with the present Skoda Rapid Spaceback. That model also has a similar side-window treatment to the concept.

Of course, being presented as a vRS model, the concept has a far more aggressive and contoured look elsewhere. Hinting towards a future Volkswagen GTI rival, it points towards the next Skoda Rapid being pitched more assertively against mainstream European rivals, appealing on performance, style and desirability as opposed to the equally relevant but less glamorous qualities of value and reliability.

Perhaps more fanciful is the concept car's interior. It features four individual bucket seats, a metallic full-length centre console and an aerofoil-shaped floating dashboard with free-standing infotainment screen. While the ideas presented in the concept will likely be toned down before entering production, certain touches – such as ambient lighting, seat belts and dashboard stitching picked out in red – seem almost certain to appear in a showroom vRS model.

Skoda's car range is steadily expanding: an entry-level compact SUV is on its way and the brand's 2017 Vision E concept demonstrates that Skoda is thinking seriously about an electrified future. Although Skoda has yet to confirm that the Vision RS is a direct preview of the next Skoda Rapid, we expect an all-new model late in 2019.

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 unveiled
2021 Toyota GR86 - front 3/4 view
Toyota
6 Apr 2021

New Toyota GR86 unveiled

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
8 Apr 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Tips and advice
28 Dec 2020

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks