Skoda Scala - Czech brand unveils Golf rival

Kenny Grant
December 9, 2018

Skoda has unveiled its all-new hatchback, the Skoda Scala. Interestingly, it's the first Skoda model to be based on the Volkwagen Group's MQB A0 platform featuring a "more emotional" design language.

With the Scala, Skoda seems to be betting big on redefining the A segment of vehicles as the new hatchback promises to set new benchmarks among its rivals; global market launch in the first half of 2019.

The Scala will be offered with an electric tailgate as standard and it has a retractable tow bar - which may not pass our strict Australian Design Rules - as well as quirky Skoda features such as folding tray tables on the front seatbacks, an umbrella compartment in the driver's door, a waste bin in the door trim and storage nets on the inside edges of the front seats. "We're convinced that the Scala has the best chance of redefining the A segment for Skoda". That makes it longer than the VW Golf, which is 4,258 mm (-104 mm) long, 1,799 mm (+6 mm) wide, 1,452 mm (-19 mm) tall and a wheelbase of 2,620 mm (-29 mm). The hatchback offers impressive 467-litres of boot space. The design is heavily influenced by the Vision RS Concept shown off earlier in the year, although Skoda has said that a performance-oriented vRS version of the Scala is unlikely to come. The new hatchback will get a single diesel powertrain option, in the form of a 113bhp, 1.6-litre motor.

Skoda Scala will be powered by three petrol engines with capacities ranging from 1.0 to 1.5 liters while the 1.6 liter TDI diesel engine will offer 95 to 150 PS power.

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As reported, the Scala replaces the slow-selling Rapid Spaceback that launched in Australia in mid-2014, about two years after it went on sale globally. The lower 1.0 L TSI engine is mated to 5-speed manual gearbox. Scala is a Latin word, which refers to "ladder". This is electrically unlocked at the push of a button in the boot. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual (entry-level model only), six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch DSG.

Bolstering the technological side of the Scala are standard fit lane assist and front assist (autonomous emergency braking) as well as the longer-range side assist and adaptive cruise control and optional full-LED adaptive headlights and multi-collision braking.

The new vehicle is longer, wider, higher and roomier than the Rapid (which I never liked and have described as Skoda's only slip on the ladder they've been climbing since Volkswagen took them over). Most notable, the Scala comes with a comprehensive sport mode which lowers the auto by 15mm and stiffens up the springs for a more engaging drive.

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