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Skoda to skip PHEV Octavia in Australia

Bigger new fourth-gen Skoda Octavia to launch with petrol power in 2021

12 Nov 2019

SKODA Australia will skip the new plug-in hybrid powertrain in Octavia when the all-new, fourth-generation fastback hatch and wagon range goes on sale in Australia in early 2021.


Parent company Volkswagen Group Australia is sticking with its plan to go full electric when Skoda EVs become available.


This means the new bigger, more sophisticated Octavia is likely to launch with 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines, with the hot RS still a chance to make the boat in time for the launch in about 14 months.


Diesel has not been ruled out, but like Volkswagen products in Australia, the Octavia is subject to a factory hold order on oil burners – a situation that might change by the time Octavia is expected to be shipped to this market in late 2020.


The Octavia will cap a big 2020 for Skoda in Australia, with the latest mid-size fastback and wagon range heading into showrooms behind the Kodiaq RS, full Karoq line-up, Kamiq small SUV, Scala small hatchback and Superb large sedan mid-life upgrade.


In Europe, Skoda has revealed plug-in-hybrid and mild hybrid variants of the new Octavia in a wide powertrain range for that market.


Skoda is keeping its powder dry on the next hot RS version that is a major seller in the Octavia range in Australia, holding back details for a later date.


Building on the strengths of the current model, the latest mid-sized Skoda fastback hatch and wagon are even more spacious, thanks to stretched bodies that sit on the same revised MQB front-wheel-drive platform as the latest Volkswagen Golf.


Skoda calls the Octavia its heart and engine, with Skoda Auto CEO Berhard Maier saying it is of immense importance to the brand.


“That’s why we’ve completely redeveloped this car,” he said. “The outcome is the best Octavia of all time – it is even more spacious, practical and even safer than ever before.


“By unveiling its latest generation just in time for its 60th anniversary, we have taken a major step forward.”


The plug-in hybrid – dubbed Octavia iV – combines a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine with a 75kW electric motor for a combined 150kW of power.


The motor draws its electricity from a 13kWh lithium-ion battery – sufficient for 55km of electric driving. The 0-100km/h dash is done in a claimed 7.9 seconds.


The Octavia can be had with fuel-saving mild-hybrid assistance on both the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre TSI petrol turbo engines, as long as they are fitted with the automatic DSG transmission.


No performance or fuel consumption figures were given for these variants, but Skoda said a 48-volt lithium-ion battery stored recovered energy from regenerative braking to provide a boost via a belt-driven starter motor when needed.


These powertrains also permit coasting to save fuel under light throttle loads.


As GoAuto has previously reported, the new Octavia is bigger than before, at 4689mm long in both fastback and Combi wagon guises.


This is 19 mm longer than the previous fastback and 22mm longer than the third-generation wagon.


Combined with a 15mm boost in width, to 1829mm, the bigger dimensions liberate an extra 78mm of rear knee room, along with bigger boot proportions. The fastback’s cargo space goes up by 10 litres, to 600L, while the wagon’s increases 30L, to 640L.


Design wise, the new Octavia gets slim-line LED headlights that give it a more aggressive look, while the roof line of the fastback is more sloped for a coupe-style silhouette.


Alloy wheels range up to 19 inches, depending on the specification.


Inside, the most noticeable changes are the free-standing touchscreen that is either 8.25 inches in base variants or 10 inches in upper specs.


Various functions can be controlled by gesture or voice via a new assistant called Laura.


The transmission lever makes way for a compact selector control on the console, along with a driving mode switch.


Ambient lighting with 10 colours also makes its debut, helping to lift the interior that also features more soft-touch materials and chrome trim.


Three-zone climate control has been added, along with rear side window sun blinds that should attract new mums.


Among the options are head-up display, a twin-spoke multifunction steering wheel and Ergo seats with functions such as back massage.


Octavia’s safety credentials have also been upgraded, with improved adaptive cruise control and anti-collision controls that can spot pedestrians and cyclists. New safety systems turn assist, exit warning and the local traffic warning.


Australian range details and pricing will be announced closer to the launch date which will depend on production timing that is yet to be confirmed.


Skoda Australia has its fingers crossed that first shipments will arrive before the end of 2020, ready for a January splash.


Octavia offers just two 2.0-litre powertrains in the current model in Australia – the 110kW petrol 110 TSI and 180kW RS and RS 245.


Skoda Australia is on the record as saying it has its hand up for the new RS whenever it arrives.


The Octavia is Skoda Australia’s second-best-selling model after the Kodiaq SUV. So far this year, Octavia has notched up 1503 sales – down 4.9 per cent on the same period of 2018.


Despite its modest performance, Octavia is ranked third in the medium car segment behind the dominant Toyota Camry and Mazda6.

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