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Old 27th October 2017, 19:14   #1
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Default 2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)

2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm-7.jpeg

Prologue

For all those who love travelling and earning only to drive , the decision to choose a companion which fits in the budget and provides reliability of the highest standards is very crucial.Seeking an alliance in marriage is much easier for guys like us who dream about cars day in-day out.
Do you agree?

If Yes ?
We will agree upon everything I am going to post next.
If No ?
We might not agree in the beginning , eventually we will get there.

The choice was the most difficult one to make as I had to let go of my Wolf-Remapped 90 HP Punto Evo which had clocked 56000 Kms in 3 years in pursuit of a similar car which would help me retain my enthusiastic credentials.For most Fiat guys who are used to defending the choices they make, over the time this solidified my resolve as I set out my foot looking for a worthy upgrade.

My Punto 90 HP Sport
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171103-10.41.28-am.jpeg

The Contenders

Fiat Linea - This would have been the most obvious choice to make, the fear of the end-of-lifecycle for this product was the only reason I was not keen with the Linea.

Hyundai Verna - This was an attractive option , lack of discounts and the new-gen Verna on the block I was not ready to wait for the launch.

Honda City - The 2017- Honda City is a great car and the segment leader for almost 2 decades. The diesel option was way too high for my budget and lacked the Diesel AT option .

VW Vento - I have been driving my friends car, the 1.6 TDI since 2012 and this set the benchmark for my upgrade mainly for its dynamics and handling.

Maruti Ciaz - It had the same 1.3 MJD with similar power output, I never considered this an upgrade for my style of driving.

Skoda Rapid - I knew I had to defend this choice as I stated earlier

VW Polo GT Siblings - With a lot of deliberation , I did choose the GT TDI for the torque on offer , fuel efficiency. GT TSI added to the confusion with its DSG Gear box. They are indeed a great cars for enthusiasts.

The Next Step

I narrowed down my choices with a strict budget of 11 lakhs and the direct choices on offer were the GT Siblings. With enquiries in almost all dealerships in Bangalore and Belgaum the only reply I received was that there were no discounts on offer. GT TSI for its lightning speed gear box and the GT TDI for its torquey motor , it had to be one among these. GT TSI had the FE thing going against it, likewise the GT TDI had the MT. Then came the moment of reckoning , I deserved to get the best of both worlds for all the years of automotive research, recommendations and reviews.The Skoda Rapid TDI DSG Ambition was the car which I was looking for and this match was definitely made in heaven. There was no looking back from the time I realised that and the search culminated there.

Dealership Experience

I had almost finalised my deal with Vinayaka Skoda and agreed to book a Cappucino Beige with them with some discounts on offer. I was not very keen on shopping with them, budget was my achille's heel and having checked with TAFE about the prices I felt Vinayaka was my only choice. Meanwhile , while the sales guy was on his way from Marathahalli to my house , my close friend messaged me to ask how were the things moving and the price on offer. "Good things happen to good people" , I realised this after conversing with my buddy and he gave me the contact number of Mr Prasanna from TAFE and he also gave me the mantra to get a good offer. Mr Prasanna undercut the offer made by Vinayaka Skoda and sent a sales executive Kaushik who braved the storm and reached my home at 8.30 PM, 11th August. The offer made by him was irresistible and I paid the booking amount of 10000 Rs to him for choosing the Carbon Steel color which was a July Manufactured car. I got a good discount on the ex-showroom price and some goodies with the final price on offer being 13.xx Lakhs INR.

Price - Breakup (Ex-showroom -11,10,671 Road Tax - 209,000 Insurance - 24,900)

The Documentation and Loan Process was a smooth drive and most of it was in the top gear. I had asked for the delivery on 24th August , 2017 , a day before Ganesh Chaturthi. I was called to the St Marks Road, Bangalore TAFE showroom for the PDI and there was nothing that I could find which would delay the process of delivery.

IT Support jobs are the real deal until everything is going on smoothly. It wasnt so smooth for me on the day of delivery and I was held up with escalation calls and it was going south from that point.
I must really appreciate TAFE,St Marks Road for understanding my situation and asked me to drop a mail asking for delivery in my Office Premises. Kaushik delivered the car in my office right on time promised to me and I took delivery of the car without much fan-fare and the enthusiasm was missing because of the lack of time.

My First-Drive Experience

I tanked up at the Shell Bunk and it was a mixed feeling. The fuel tank has a capacity a whopping 55 Liters which would easily go a 1000 kms with the rated ARAI Fuel-Efficiency of 21.72 KPL. The setback was that I was never used to paying anything in excess of 3000 Rs while using the Punto . It was never any easy task to shift from being a hardcore manual guy with an engaging driving experience in the Punto 90 HP to shift to a DSG AT box. I am not shy to admit that I did press the brake pedal searching for the clutch only to realise the braking potential.I was travelling to Belgaum from Bangalore which is at a distance of 500 Kms,this drive gave me a chance to understand the nuances of driving an AT. The tiptronic mode in the GB is a great feature which simulates the shifts like a MT. The 1.5 L Diesel engine is a noisy motor and getting used to this was a challenge at lower speeds.

Here are some overall details and observations about the car.

Engine & Gearbox

The 1.5 L TDI engine from Volkswagen is a true gem. The engine is so dynamic and frugal that you would never complain about lack of power or fuel efficiency depending on the way you are driving it. Torque , may be in other engines its just a figure or a value. In this 1.5 L TDI engine , the way it makes you feel the 250 NM of torque is the most notable part when you get behind the wheels. The power delivery feels linear if driven normally and packs a lot of punch with the turbo spooling as early as 1700 RPM if you need it and revvs past 3500 RPM happily in every gear until you reach the top gear. Many people have joked about the tractor like sound of the 1.5L TDI engine which I feel is partially true but only at the idle RPM's and low speeds.

Driveability

Crank the engine with your foot on the brake and the gear lever at either P or N mode ( you wont be able to crank in R , D , S ) and slot it into the D mode and release the brake and the vehicle starts moving similar to the clutch release position on the Manual Transmission. I am having a strong aversion to the sound of this engine early in the morning as I was always used to the sweet clatter of the 1.3MJD. The vehicle picks up speed based on the throttle input and the gear shifts happen based on the elevation of the road.

City Driving: This is one place where you might find the need of the tiptronic mode on the DSG and I am seriously suggesting to the buyers to use it if you are a smooth shifter who has moved to an AT from driving a MT over a long period. I am sure that questions will be raised about the whole purpose of buying an AT over an MT which is to sail through the traffic in cities like Bangalore , Mumbai , Delhi. My point is, if you are an early shifter and dont want to revv the engine unnecessarily and want better FE figures this is the only way to achieve it. In B2B traffic , I travel 8.5 Kms one way to my office and have tested FE figures for various scenarios and found that the City FE figures are at an average of 10-12 in Bangalore and drop to 8-9 if there is a traffic jam. For the one's who are looking for the convenience of the AT , the DSG does its job and does it so well that you will be impressed with its performance even if you find a small stretch of road where the engine can breathe a bit.

Highway Driving: We have been through this in many reviews where the highway performance of this car has been highlighted by many. The only concern that my friends have is about the capability to overtake like the classic manual transmission method where we revv past the turbo range and downshift to draw more power.

The experience in this car is no different but I admit that it needs a bit of tuning of our style and methods as the control lies in the right foot which does most of the job here. Highly experienced drivers will take little time to adjust , but its risky for people who do not have the experience of handling the 110 Bhp of power. The real potential of the GB is tested on the highway as you get to choose the drive modes between D and S. The D mode is tuned to get a perfect balance between fuel efficiency and driveability and does its job perfectly by upshifting from 1500 RPM - 2300 RPM based on the throttle input. We can reach 100 KPH effortlessly around 1900-2100 RPM in the D mode. We can slot into the S mode from the D mode on the fly effortlessly and race up to any speed until 190KPH on an open highway stretch with the upshift happening at around 3500 Rpm in every gear. For those of you who love to maximize and extract every bit from the fuel , the engine doesnt disappoint and you can get decent FE figures even by driving at 120 KPH and get 19-20 Kmpl practically

Overall , the engine NVH levels are decent with good cabin insulation and there is nothing to suggest the presence of wind noise at decent speeds. This 1.5 L TDI engine mated with the 7-Speed DSG is by far the best combination you can get in India for smaller diesel engines atleast until the year 2020.

Reference for the FE Figures over a distance of 500 Kms which was a spirited drive after the Diwali long weekend. The traffic on the highway and tolls killed the practical figures but nonetheless I found them to be impressive.

Distance Travelled
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171026-7.10.23-pm-3.jpeg

Time Taken
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171026-7.10.23-pm-1.jpeg

Average Speed
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171026-7.10.23-pm-2.jpeg

Fuel Efficiency( Half Tank )
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171026-7.10.23-pm.jpeg

Build & Style

Although the Skoda Rapid shares the same platform and parts with its sibling the Volkswagen Vento , this facelifted Rapid has not only lifted the appeal but also added the much needed numbers it deserved.
Indian car market is an unforgiving one and Skoda did everything to get the new design right and offered more features on this current Ambition variant in its facelifted avatar. Build quality is something that most Indians are not aware of , this is slowly changing with time. But lets give it to Skoda for making great cars without compromising the build quality. I am not sure about how good the Rapid is in comparison to the competition but I am just going by the track record of Skoda and VW in India. The Skoda Rapid has always been a good looking car since its launch and with minimal chrome in this iteration , it has definitely captured the imagination of the buyers in this segment where majority are obsessed with chrome embellished fascia. With the compact sedans being a common sight in India in this decade , my admiration of this timeless design has shot up leaps and bounds.

Timeless Design
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-ext1.jpeg

2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-ext3.jpeg

Minimal chrome strip embedding the grille

2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm-3.jpeg

Rear Quarter Panel
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm-6.jpeg

Ever flowing crease lines
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm-4.jpeg

Front Fascia
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm-5.jpeg

Admirable Side Profile
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-style.jpeg

Nice LED Lit Back Number Plate
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171028-11.31.59-am.jpeg

Skoda Logo
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm.jpeg

Handling and Dynamics

Aerodynamic Style
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171027-9.35.50-am.jpeg

15" Matone Alloys with 185/60/R15 Apollo Alnac Tyres
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171023-1.20.05-pm-1.jpeg

Ground Clearance of 163 mm
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-ext2.jpeg

Turning Radius of 5.3 Meters
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-fascia.jpeg

With the a GC of 163 MM and a FWD drive , I would love to hear from the experts if there is any other car that handles as good as the Skoda Rapid ( Fiat Linea's high GC kills the handling a bit IMO ).

The steering response is better than the Ciaz or the Verna but lacks the kind of feedback that we would love to have with the likes of Linea. With the kerb weight around 1220 Kgs , it feels planted at high speeds and has a great speed masking ability. The suspensions could have been better if Skoda ever aim to beat the competition in terms of comfort and its evident when you hit any bad patches of tarmac or craters ( the potholes just got upgraded in Bangalore). The best part about the handling is its cornering stability, its unflinching and you wont lose your nerve on throwing it around and can make it stick to the line. The one long lasting wish of the enthusiast's fraternity was a call for wider tyres , this was addressed on the Style variants which now have the 195/55/16 tyres , but the Active / Ambition variants continue to get the 15" steel rims / alloys with 185/60 sections. Any aftermarket upgrade to wider and better tyres would do much needed justice to the already brilliant chassis in terms of handling.

Interiors

Minimalistic yet Stylish , the looks of the cabin has remained the same in the 2017 Skoda Rapid. But the layout seems pretty old as it is in vogue since the introduction of the Rapid and present on the Vento as well. The over-all quality , fit and finish has remained top notch but it is begging for an upgrade sooner rather than later.

Three Spoke Leather Strapped Steering Wheel
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171028-11.31.57-am.jpeg

Rear bench with adequate leg room
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-whatsapp-image-20171028-11.31.58-am-1.jpeg

Factory Tinted Windows
2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)-tinted-window.jpeg

Comfort :The seats offer good amount of cushioning and support , the Ambition variant comes with the nano-fabric seats which are based on the dual tone interior theme with beige and black colours.

AC is very powerful and cools the compartment fairly quickly and the controls for the ( auto) climatronic switches are fairly simple to use.

The exhaustive list of features and its review is present on the official Team-BHP review thread.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...lose-look.html (2016 Skoda Rapid Facelift : A Close Look)

Please go through the brochure for feature comparison

http://skodalive.in/Brochure/Rapid/Rapid-brochure.pdf

Things that you would like instantly

The 2017-facelift carries a lot of similarities from the new-gen Octavia's fascia that it demands a second look to realise its the Rapid if you spot the common colors between the Rapid and Octavia ( Some of my friends were confused that I bought the Octavia ).The lightning speed gear shifts in the turbo - range are so quick and smooth that you would love to keep the revv's going ( It was too tempting to lift off the throttle). The handling of the car is so good with a great responsive steering that is always eager for your inputs.The chilling AC can turn you into a snow - man if all the vents were pointing towards you. The 6 speakers on offer with the default presets present a soulful experience with all kinds of music.

Things that you may dislike ( regret is the right word )

Skoda has designed the halogen headlamps in such a way that bulbs cant focus too far which hampers the visibility while driving in the night. We need to pray that it shouldnt rain else the consequences can be worse.The suspensions arent great either and this is acknowledged by many Skoda Rapid owners.Such a big let down from Skoda that I really miss my Fiat Punto 90 HP. The Lumbar support in the driver's seat isnt great either for people whose height is above 180 cm's.

Who Should Buy the Skoda Rapid DSG TDI AT

1)Those looking for an affordable diesel DSG AT ( VW Ameo is the most affordable)

2) A fully grown and stylish fuel efficient sedan

3) Folks, whose checklist has safety as a high priority ( ESP is a great addition )

4) People who can risk their money for low resale value and look for a car that handles well and feels planted.

Notes for Serious Buyer's ( Deal Makers )

1) Rake and Reach of the steering wheel is a must for a comfortable driving position, please do consider.

2) Some manufacturers dont provide rear-parking sensors as standard for the lower variants.

3) Deals and Discounts are plenty and with the 4 years Service package and 4 years Warranty , its worth giving it a shot.

4) ESP ( Electronic Stability Program ) as a safety feature at this price point which is present only on the Diesel AT kills the competition.

Issues and Niggles faced till date

1) The shuddering of the wipers doesnt seem to end , got variety of responses from fellow owners who suggested to go for warranty replacement to switching over from OEM to aftermarket wiper blades.

2) The rear-suspensions make a loud thud sound , not sure what are the remedies to overcome this issue, probably an upgrade to better suspensions.

3) The Head-Unit's bluetooth audio streaming is highly inconsistent where the audio is not audible from the speakers while streaming music from my mobile devices while other controls function seamlessly.

4) The remote-boot switch wasnt glued tightly and it was out of its place when I tried to unlock the boot.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd November 2017 at 22:54. Reason: No mention of 120+ kmph speeds on Team-BHP please :)
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Old 3rd November 2017, 16:24   #2
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Default re: 2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd November 2017, 19:42   #3
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5-star review mate. A very balanced and neutral ownership review. Would read these any day over the paid media reviews. The USP of Team-bhp and its ethos comes to the fore again.
By the way, where were the photos taken? The car looks amazing with the tank in the background.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 20:16   #4
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Originally Posted by SourabhSuresh View Post
5-star review mate. A very balanced and neutral ownership review. Would read these any day over the paid media reviews. The USP of Team-bhp and its ethos comes to the fore again.
By the way, where were the photos taken? The car looks amazing with the tank in the background.


Thanks Sourabh, This is an abandoned tank which is lying there since I was a kid. Its in Belgaum, Karnataka
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Old 3rd November 2017, 20:51   #5
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Default Re: 2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)

Congrats on the new ride! Happy miles ahead.

The location does look tempting.

Attachment 1689728
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Old 3rd November 2017, 20:57   #6
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Originally Posted by 500ContyCruiser View Post
Congrats on the new ride! Happy miles ahead.

The location does look tempting.

Attachment 1689728
I can give you the exact location if you want to know.

Isolated War Tank
Mandoli Hangarga Rd, Karnataka 590008

https://maps.google.com/?cid=1443172...19&hl=en&gl=in
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Old 4th November 2017, 07:34   #7
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Nicely written Pradeep. Hearty congrats and keep it updated, which can be helpful for the folks in the years to come. A owner point of view is always valuable rather than media reviews. Cheers.
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Old 4th November 2017, 09:33   #8
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Nice review. And some beautiful pictures of that gorgeous looking car. Being a VW Vento owner, I can vouch for the solid build quality these cars offer. Congratulations. Wish you and your family many happy and safe miles with it!!

Btw, the abandoned tank compliments the 2017 edition "tank" quite beautifully in those pictures

Last edited by Col Mehta : 4th November 2017 at 09:34.
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Old 4th November 2017, 09:34   #9
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Nice review. And some beautiful pictures of that gorgeous looking car.
Thank You Colonel for your encouraging words and compliments.
I am an amateur photographer.
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:02   #10
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Default Re: 2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)

4-2-ka-1 ? Nice review & pics. Interesting location that with the tank. Where's it ?

Congratulations and wishing you a long happy ownership.
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:42   #11
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Great Review. 13.1 L on road in BLR - you definitely got a very good deal on this.
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:46   #12
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Great Review. 13.1 L on road in BLR - you definitely got a very good deal on this.
Yes , Very hard negotiations and bargaining for goodies too.
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Old 4th November 2017, 10:55   #13
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Congrats man Does Tafe have a good reputation with regard to service and after-sales? Few of the recent horror stories were from Vinayak Skoda IIRC. Do get the 'thud' from rear suspension sorted. I somewhat remember another member posting about the same on his Octy, later found to be a result of faulty PDI at dealer's end.
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Old 4th November 2017, 11:28   #14
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Fantastic review Pradeep! The Rapid is indeed very good value for money given the solid build quality and proven mechanicals.

I was in a similar situation when I was looking for an upgrade from my 5 year 110K km old Wolfed Punto 90. Given the benchmark set by the Punto for build quality, every other sedan in the 11-15 lakh market felt like a compromise. I somehow couldn't bring myself to buy the concept of light weight high strength steel. So the only options were Vento TDI and Rapid TDI.

Got myself a Rapid Ambition TDI manual. OTR after discounts was 11.6 lakh, which is good value since the Ambition trim comes with almost all the features and doesn't feel like a lower variant. The only feature I wish it had is Cruise Control.

Couldn't extend to the DSG given my budget constraints and had to settle with MT. I miss the light clutch of the Punto though, especially in the city. The DSG is a great combination of convenience and fun. Getting my share of DSG fun from my dad's GT TSI which we bought in August!

Very happy to see someone making the same choice as me! Wish you lots of happy miles ahead! This is my Rapid
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Old 4th November 2017, 12:07   #15
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Default Re: 2017 Skoda Rapid TDI DSG - Carbon Steel (a real steal)

Hi Pradeep, first and foremost, heartiest congratulations on the new car , admire you for selecting the Rapid inspite of the various horror stories related to Skoda and it's infamous service centers, and hope that you have a niggle free car and much better service experience.
The Rapid in isolation is a beautiful looking car inspite of being there for so long, the various updates have made it better. The front fascia reminds you of the other Skoda cars in higher segments.
The thump you are experience in the rear suspension has been there on both the Rapid and Vento as both have same components. It would be better if you get an upgrade done.
Just hope and pray that you have a better experience both with the car and service provider in future.
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