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Future models - Skoda - Octavia

Skoda Octavia facelift due here mid-2017

Light fantastic: New quad-headlight front-end with LED technology is a design departure for the revised Skoda Octavia mid-sizer.

July 2017 arrival for updated Skoda Octavia, bigger changes expected on RS, Scout

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Skoda logo28 Oct 2016

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

CZECH brand Skoda has revealed a radical front-end design for the mid-life facelift of its Octavia mid-sizer, confirmed to arrive in Australian showrooms next July.

GoAuto understands the hot RS and off-road oriented Scout variants will arrive about a month later, with sweeping changes over and above the standard line-up.

A new “crystalline” quad-headlight design gives the revised Octavia a completely new face, with the full-LED units hinting at the technological overhaul that has taken place inside the cabin, complimented by new LED tail-light clustersThree new multimedia systems are fitted with high-end glass capacitive touchscreens of up to 9.2 inches in size. The top-spec Columbus unit provides a Wi-Fi hotspot and SIM card module with LTE high-speed Internet connectivity.

Another hi-tech highlight is the trailer assist feature that expands on self-parking functionality by automating steering while reversing a trailer.

It is similar to the system that was introduced on the Audi Q7 but falls foul of Australian Design Rule tow hitch specifications, so a question mark remains over its viability for this market.

Active safety and driver assistance systems have been overhauled, with predictive pedestrian protection included with the autonomous emergency braking system and a catalogue of sensors said make lane changes safer.

The additional sensors also improve the automated parking functionality, combining the rear radar, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert to help drivers safely reverse out of a parking bay.

The rearview camera displays the car’s immediate surroundings via the on-board monitor.

Skoda has continued to come up with quirky but considerate design features for the facelifted Octavia, including customiseable keys that enable multiple drivers to program their own vehicle settings, bottle holders that help with the opening of bottles, and a removable torch in wagon variants, which will also have the option of a powered tailgate.

Care Connect, which like Ford’s Sync system will automatically notify emergency services if an airbag is deployed, will be standard across the Octavia range, while up-spec variants will also feature access to the Skoda Connect range of in-car online services.

Adaptive dampers will also be available, with driver-selectable Comfort, Normal and Dynamic driving modes altering the handling characteristics along with the steering weight and drivetrain calibration.

GoAuto understands that some of the changes applied to the limited-edition Octavia RS230 performance flagship will become standard on the facelifted version.

The RS230, available in Australia from next month as a manual only, features an uprated limited-slip differential, sports exhaust, a 7kW peak power boost over the standard 162kW/350Nm RS and flat-bottomed steering wheel along with contrast-coloured styling tweaks including two-tone 19-inch alloy wheels (an inch larger than standard).

Mainstream Octavia drivetrains are expected to stay the same post-facelift, with a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine powering the majority.

The Scout is available with either a 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel or 132kW/280Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol while the RS has a punchier diesel option producing 135kW and 380Nm.

An Octavia update launched in June, making adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking standard across the range, plus specification upgrades on most variants.

These changes followed the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity plus Euro 6 compliant engines in October 2015.

Despite these efforts, Australian Octavia sales continue to slide, with sales down 16.2 per cent to the end of September on 1317 units. Overall Skoda sales were down 4.6 per cent in the same timeframe with a total of 3407 cars sold.

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