The third generation Skoda Octavia was unveiled on the first day of the 2013 Geneva Auto Salon and this new Octavia promises to be a complete sensible package of space, comfort and technology. This would be the first Skoda car to be underpinned to the ingenious MQB platform. The Octavia brandname always meant space and the Octavia III takes this recognition a notch higher. This means that the vehicle now is 90 mm longer at 4659 mm and 45 mm wider at 1814 mm. The new Octavia will ride on a longer wheelbase of 2686 mm, a considerable increase of 108 mm.
The increase in the wheelbase directly benefits the interior space with head and legroom comparable to those cars of higher class. The dashboard speaks intelligence, loaded with entertainment and safety features, some of them being seen for the first time in any Skoda car. There is an Adaptive Cruise Assistant which sets a definite distance between the car ahead and maintains it. The Automatic Parking Assistant which takes off the burden of parking from your head, a feature otherwise seen in cars like the Volkswagen Passat.
There is a Driving Mode Selection which helps set certain vehicle driving characteristics. A few more features to boast of in the new Octavia will be the panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof and the automatic door and ignition-lock system. The new Intelligent Light Assistant will switch to high beam and back automatically thus enhancing safety on road.
The third generation Octavia weighs almost 102 kgs lighter than its predecessor, thanks to careful study and selection of materials. With reduced weight, a low drag co-efficient and newly developed engines, the new Octavia will consume less and emit less too. The entry-level petrol engine is a 120 BHP, 1.4-litre TSI and a more powerful 138 BHP version too. At the higher end, a 1.8-litre TSI which provides power of 177 BHP is available and the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine from the VW Golf GTI is expected to power the Octavia later.
Four TDI diesel engines are also on offer, two 1.6-litre engines with power options of 103 BHP and another Greenline version of 108 BHP with a claimed mileage of 30 km/litre of diesel. The other two diesel hearts would be 2.0-litreTDI’s with power options of 147 BHP and 181 BHP. These engines are mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All engine options except the base petrol and diesel will feature start-stop functionality.
The new generation Skoda Octavia will take time to hit the roads probably by the end of the year. It is expected to be launched in India in the later half of 2013, bringing back the Octavia name plate back to India. The new Skoda Octavia will gradually replace the Laura, which is the name given by Skoda to the second generation Octavia for the Indian market. Post the launch of the sedan version, an estate and a vRS version will go on sale. We can expect the vRS variant to make it to our shores.