New Skoda Rapid from around 12k

* Skoda Rapid due in November 2012 * New compact family car * Prices from around 12,000...

New Skoda Rapid from around 12k

The new Skoda Rapid will cost from around 12,000, when it goes on sale in November, according to company insiders.

The Rapid will sit between the Fabia and the Octavia in Skodas range, and is the production version of the MissionL concept car revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

It will share the same underpinnings as the Seat Toledo, and order books are expected to open around September.

Skoda revealed a saloon version of the Rapid at the 2012 Beijing motor show, but it will be a more practical hatchback that goes on sale in the UK. Skoda sources have suggested that a 'sportback' lifestyle estate version that puts sleek looks ahead of outright load capacity could arrive in 2013.

The first pictures of the production-ready Rapid are expected next month, with prices and engine details due in July. It'll be officially unveiled at the Paris motor show in September.

The Rapid is a similar size to the current Octavia, which is due for replacement in the second half of 2013. The all-new Octavia will be bigger, sleeker and more expensive than the current model, to accommodate the Rapid in Skoda's range.

A version of the new Octavia is expected to be shown at the Geneva motor show next March.

Mark Pearson