Skoda Auto India has introduced the Rapid Matte Edition. This new special edition model is said to see a limited production run. While mechanically the Rapid Matte gets no upgrades, this limited edition option allows for a cool set of cosmetic and material changes that are designed to make the Rapid a little more special. We first saw the Rapid Matte as a concept at the 2020 Auto Expo where Skoda was gauging the demand for the special package. After nearly two years, Skoda has rolled out the option to customers. The Rapid has been endeared by car enthusiasts for its driving dynamics that also offer a great balance to tackle Indian driving conditions. This has allowed Skoda to be able to sell over 1 lakh units of the Rapid in the Indian market.
The new Rapid Matte Edition offers a more sporty look to the compact sedan. The upgrades are usually offered in more premium sporty cars. The Rapid Matte Edition, like the name suggests, features an exclusive carbon steel matte or satin finish body paint which is the star of the show on the exterior. Additionally, the exterior has also been treated with a dark finish on the front grille, front chin spoiler, door handles, rear spoiler, and trunk garnish. While the body has a satin finish, the other trims have a contrasting glossy look including the all-black alloys wheels.
The Rapid Matte is based on the top-spec Monte-Carlo edition. The Monte-Carlo comes equipped with projector headlamps, LED DRLs, fog lamps, and ORVMs with integrated turn signals. However, the lighting systems on the Rapid Matte are said to be upgraded with enhanced performance for this limited edition model.
Skoda has not left the cabin untouched either. The cabin features a dual-tone Tellur Grey colour scheme. But the party piece is the premium black leatherette upholstery with Alcantara leather inserts. Alcantara, it’s usually used cabins of race cars, or premium sports cars. The suede finish of the material helps to cut glare and when the steering wheel is also leather-wrapped, it feels nicer than regular leather and offers improved hand grip. Unfortunately, Skoda has not offered the material on the steering wheel, however, it is found abundantly on the seats. Additionally, the Rapid Matte also features stainless steel scuff plates.
The cons of being based on the Monte Carlo means that the Rapid Matte comes with the 6.5-inch Drive Audio Player Central Infotainment System. While it does feature a rearview camera, it does not comes enabled with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Additionally, in our experience, the system is fairly slow and not intuitive compared to modern systems. However, the Rapid Matte does include USB powered Air Purifier, an adjustable centre armrest for the front passengers, rear AC vents, automatic climate control, and more. The limited-edition Rapid Matte also comes equipped with dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, rear parking sensors, rough road package, and engine immobiliser.
Under the skin, the Rapid Matte is identical to the standard car. It keeps the 1.0-litre TSI engine offering 108hp and 175Nm of torque. Both a 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available with the Matte Edition.
While all of this is cool, the coolest part about the Rapid Matte is not having to break the bank to get one. Staying true to their word from the Auto Expo, Skoda has ensured that the Rapid Matte Edition costs no more than Rs 20,000 in addition to the standard version. The Rapid Matte manual is priced at Rs 12 lakh while the automatic is priced at Rs 13.5 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
For that nominal fee, upgrading from the Monte Carlo to the Matte Edition makes the Rapid Matte quite desirable. Sure it is by no means the perfect package, but I struggle to name another car that could make you feel as special with such subtle sporty touches.
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