Skoda has unveiled the third-generation Octavia – the successor to the car we know as the Laura here in India. It is larger than before and the company claims that it provides class-leading interior space.
Based on a stretched version of the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB platform, the Octavia is now 4659mm long, an increase of 90mm over its predecessor. Width is up by 45mm to 1814mm, but the real gain is in the wheelbase, which has grown by 108mm to 2686mm. These figures better even the VW Jetta, which is currently one of the biggest cars in this class.
The new Octavia has what Skoda claims is class-leading interior space, with 1782mm of interior length, and increased head, knee and legroom for front and rear passengers. Boot space is also up, albeit by just five litres to 590.
The entry-level petrol engine will be a 1.4 TSI with 120bhp and 20.3kgm. There will also be a more powerful 1.4 with 138bhp and 25.4kgm of torque. The range-topping petrol model will be the 1.8 TSI, with 177bhp and 25.4kgm. A few months after launch however, a 2.0-litre turbo engine (borrowed from the VW Golf GTI hot hatchback) will be introduced in a new Octavia vRS.
The diesels kick off with a 103bhp 1.6, and there will also be a frugal 108bhp Greenline version of the 1.6. Two 2.0-litre TDIs will also be on offer, with 147bhp and 181bhp. However, which of the motor options will be brought to India still remains unclear.
The vRS will surface next July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. As with the outgoing car, both petrol and diesel vRS models will be offered, and it will be interesting to see if Skoda brings the diesel version to India instead of the petrol this time around.
Six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes will be available, and it’s thought that the DSG has been redesigned to take higher torque outputs. International markets will get estate and four-wheel-drive models, including a rugged ‘Scout’ version, at a later stage, but it’s unlikely that these will make it to India.
Inside, the new dashboard is much crisper than today’s. There’s a touchscreen multimedia system, keyless entry and go, and plenty of small, clever touches, such as rubbish bins in the doors and a reversible boot floor, with carpet on one side and rubber on the other. Higher equipment levels include a lane departure warning system and a pop-up bonnet to improve pedestrian safety.
The new Octavia will come to India next year.