A Skoda Rapid police car, seen on the Cipate police equipment exhibition in Beijing. Chinese police doesn’t use the Rapid yet, they don’t use any Skoda vehicles, but Volkswagen apparently hopes that will change. The Skoda Rapid is a very new car, it was only launched on the Chinese car market last month, and this was the first time I met one in the flesh.
The Rapid looked bigger than I expected from the photos, and it actually is not an unimpressive car. It is however not an exciting car, but the police stuff helps a bit. The Skoda Rapid is made in China by the Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture. Price starts at 79.900 yuan and ends at 116.900 yuan. Engines: 1.4 with 89bhp or a 1.6 with 109bhp, mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
Quality of the interior was just good enough for a Volkswagen. Everything felt all right and the place looked very light. But again; as exciting as the control panel of a laundry machine. And that indeed is what this kinda car is; a laundry machine. Designed work, not to excite. Volkswagen made it like this on purpose because in this segment of the market buyers want it boring.
A Skoda boothperson, who looked very bored, told me the whole police-equipment set would cost about 20.000 yuan; including a police-radio, siren and police lights. Sadly the engine will remain unchanged, Skoda won’t offer any sneaky upgraded to give the coppers more power.