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Skoda’s fourth-gen Octavia here early 2021

Tech details of all-new Skoda Octavia announced ahead of full reveal on November 11

31 Oct 2019

SKODA has revealed full technical details of its upcoming fourth-generation Octavia mid-size fastback and wagon range ahead of its global reveal on November 11 and confirmed arrival to Australia in early 2021.


The Czech brand has so far shared only camouflaged exterior images and sketches of the larger but much more aerodynamic new version of its global best-seller, which shares many of its hi-tech features with the mechanically related Volkswagen Golf 8 that was revealed last week.


Off-road-oriented Scout and hot RS variants are confirmed to follow and although unable to confirm local specifications this far out, Skoda Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuinness told GoAuto the company was hoping the popular RS would be able to join the Australian launch line-up or follow soon after.


“Rest assured we are keen to get RS as soon as we possibly can as it remains one of most popular variants,” he said.


“One of our strongest sellers is an Octavia RS wagon with option packs and metallic paint; it’s more than cult car in Australia, it’s a significant brand pillar.”


No official interior shots have yet been released, but Skoda says it has doubled down on cabin and storage space, with 78mm more rear knee room than before and bigger 600-litre and 640L boots in the fastback and wagon respectively (up from 568L and 588L).


These gains come from the fact the new Octavia fastback and wagon have respectively grown 22mm and 19mm in length to both measure 4689mm. Both Octavia body styles have gained 15mm of width, now at 1829mm between the mirrors.


However, the Octavia remains something of a segment-straddler, being 41mm longer and 30mm wider than a Honda Civic sedan but 116mm shorter and 11mm narrower than a Mazda6 wagon.


Undoubtedly big are the two 10-inch screens, one providing a customisable digital instrument panel and the other a free-standing unit serving up Skoda’s latest multimedia interface that can stream video via its wireless SmartLink+ smartphone connection.


Climate control settings – with up to three zones available – have been moved into the main touchscreen menu.


Up to five USB-C ports can be specified – including one in the ceiling – through which audio and video can be downloaded to the media unit from media storage devices. The new Octavia will also bring an optional head-up display to supplement the two physical screens.


Other technological firsts for the Skoda brand include a collision avoidance system that amplifies steering inputs to prevent – or at least lessen the severity of – impending collisions with other road users.


The car also attempts to prevent ‘dooring’ passing cyclists or pedestrians when exiting the vehicle and uses sensors in the steering wheel to detect whether the driver is alert and in control, bringing the vehicle to a safe stop if necessary.


LED matrix headlights and scrolling turn signals will feature for the first time on top-spec Octavia variants, the former using windscreen-mounted cameras to calculate and adjust the beam pattern so that high beam can be permanently activated without dazzling other road users.


A new two-spoke steering wheel is packed with sufficient chrome-finished push-buttons and scroll wheels to enable the driver to carry out up to 14 different functions without prodding at the touchscreen.


Skoda’s signature umbrella storage compartments are carried over to the new Octavia but have been adapted to accommodate an optional hand brush for neat freaks.


Parents will value electronic child lock activation and the optional Sleep Package comprising bigger, comfier rear headrests and a blanket. A 220-volt domestic-style power outlet will also be offered as an option.


Designers have chiselled the new Octavia’s shape into the Skoda’s slipperiest shape yet, achieving one of the world’s lowest passenger-car drag coefficients with the more aerodynamic fastback rated at 0.24cd and the wagon from 0.26cd. However, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan remains wind-tunnel champion with 0.22cd.


Optimised aero will help make the most of efficient new drivetrains, which like the Golf 8 will comprise a range of 48V mild hybrids and two plug-in hybrids, plus three diesel engines with upgraded exhaust gas treatment systems claimed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by as much as 80 per cent over their predecessors. A 1.5-litre compressed natural gas engine will also be offered in some markets.


Automatic Octavias will use a stubby shift-by-wire selector similar to that of the Golf 8, while manuals will also be offered without the mild-hybrid technology


 Available engines will include a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol with mild-hybrid tech, a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol at the heart of plug-in hybrids and 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesels.


Which of these will come to Australia is yet to be determined, but as reported the Golf 8 from sister company Volkswagen will make do here with a carry-over 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol as well as the hot GTI’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol.


The new Octavia’s of cutting-edge technology and engines shared with the Golf 8 seem to be at odds with reports out of Europe that Volkswagen Group intends to push the Skoda brand downmarket.


Mr McGuinness told GoAuto that Australian Skoda customers continued to push for “the latest and greatest technology”.


“Our more-car-for-the-money strategy is working and attracting customers to the brand,” he said.


Skoda sales in Australia were up 8.5 per cent last year in a market that declined 3.0 per cent and are up 15.5 per cent to the end of September this year, while the overall market has slumped 7.9 per cent.


This year, Australian sales of the Kodiaq large SUV overtook the Octavia for the first time, with 1451 units reported to the end of September placing the Kodiaq 43 deliveries ahead of the Octavia.


Mr McGuinness said production of the Kodiaq had freed up in the past 12 months, enabling the strong sales uplift and that it, along with the smaller Karoq crossover, played “a huge part in volume aspirations” for the Skoda brand in Australia.

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