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New Skoda Scala hatchback confirmed for Australia

By Tim Robson, 21 Nov 2018 Car News

New Skoda Scala hatchback confirmed for Australia

Skoda's new upsized and upscale 'spaceback' will bring luxury car tech to hatchback levels

Skoda has brought in the star concept of its Paris motor show stand to Australia to preview its next new model, the Scala hatchback.

Set to be officially launched to the world early next month, the Scala will replace the Rapid in the local line-up, and will challenge blood relative Volkswagen’s Golf, as well as hatchback front runners like the soon-to-be relaunched Mazda 3 and the new-for-2018 Toyota Corolla.

The Vision RS, which was flown to Australia complete with its own minder, was shown off to more than a million people at the Paris show. It is “closely prefiguring” the forthcoming Scala hatchback, according to Skoda’s Board Member for Sales and Marketing, Alain Favey, who is in Australia for talks with Skoda Australia management.

CLICK ON MAIN PIC FOR SKODA VISION RS AND SKODA SCALA PROTOTYPE GALLERY

The Vision RS concept offers up a 180kW petrol/electric hybrid powertrain, as well as four individual race seats, Czech-made crystal LED lighting signatures and a race-style digital dash.

Skoda Scala prototype

“The Vision RS not only shows off our new hatchback model that launches next year, but it also shows off some ideas about the RS, which we believe is an integral part of our brand,” said Favey, who added that Skoda’s performance arm doesn’t set out to build racetrack-bred weapons, but is designed to offer sporting overtones to everyday cars.

The Scala is set to be 10cm longer, three centimetres wider and the same amount taller than a current Golf hatch, even though it’s going to be built on top of the same MQB A0 chassis that underpins the newest VW Polo model.

READ NEXT: The Skoda Scala at the Paris Motor Show

At 467 litres, it’ll also have 87 more litres of luggage space behind the seats than the Golf, thanks to an extra 12mm of wheelbase length.

It’s also set to feature what will become arguably the biggest multimedia screen in the sector, at 10.20 inches, while a digital dashboard will also be offered.

Other specs for the content-rich Scala will include a powered tailgate and LED lights, as well as improved driver aid technology.

Skoda Vision RS

An updated blind spot detection system will be able to spot objects 70m away even if they’re hidden, while its adaptive cruise control system will brake, accelerate and even steer the car at speeds well in excess of Australia’s national limits.

“We anticipate that we can take orders on the Scala towards the end of next year, with deliveries taking place in the first half of 2020,” said Skoda Australia’s managing director Michael Irmer.

Meanwhile, Favey pointed to the Vision RS as a pointer to a forthcoming hot version of the Scala.

Skoda Vision RS

“We believe that RS is an integral part of our brand,” he said. “People who want a Skoda that’s functional and good value for money can have some sporty feelings, and want their car to have sporty looks and driving experience. This is what RS is about.”

He did rule out, however, an even hotter version of the RS line-up, similar to the separation between VW’s GTI and R lines.

“That’s where it stops for us,” he said. “RS suits what the brand stands for. Anything more than that isn’t suitable. We also have to look at it from a [Volkswagen] group point of view, where you have Volkswagen offering performance models as well.”

He also scotched the idea of the RS version of the Kodiaq SUV – recently launched overseas – coming to Australia, at least in the short term. It’s understood that the diesel-powered RS isn’t designed for hotter climates, which precludes it from our market.

READ NEXT: The Skoda Scala at the Paris Motor Show

Irmer did conceded however the issues – thought to be related to engine and transmission cooling – are “not insurmountable.”

“We would love to get it here,” he confirmed. “Aussies love SUVs and they love performance.”