Scala. An electronic string quartet that once competed on a well-known ITV talent show. A night club near King’s Cross. A programming language. And now, a small Skoda.
The new car will effectively replace the Rapid hatchback in the Czech firm’s line-up. Scala is a Latin word that means ‘stairs’ or ‘ladder’, and company boss Bernhard Maier said that it represents Skoda’s next step forward in the compact segment. The Scala will also be the first Skoda to feature the brand’s name instead of the logo on the rear boot lid.
Maier said the Scala is “a completely new development that sets standards in terms of technology, safety and design in this class”.
The Scala is intended to be a more direct competitor than the Rapid to the big players in the volume hatchback segment, such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
Skoda sales and marketing boss Alain Favey confirmed to Autocar earlier this year that the hatchback would not be called Rapid, instead taking a new name.
Favey said: “How should I put this? Our presence [in this segment] is very humble. With the current Rapid Spaceback, we didn’t manage to come through to convince people that we are a credible competitor in this segment.”
He added that the new car would have completely new styling and technology.
A new sketch, released by Skoda recently, hinted at the styling of the Scala, which follows on from the Vision RS concept shown at the Paris motor show.
Skoda will drop the slow-selling liftback version and concentrate on the Spaceback hatch for the Rapid replacement.
The five-door Scala will be the first Skoda car to use the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 platform, which is already used on models such as the Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen T-Roc.
Skoda bridges the gap between Fabia and Octavia with a new hatch, but keen drivers will find more rewarding alternatives in the class