New 2019 Skoda Octavia design sketches released

Skoda has issued a pair of design sketches for the next-generation Octavia, ahead of its launch later this year

Skoda has released a pair of design sketches for the new Octavia, giving us our first official look at the car’s styling. The next-generation model is due to be revealed in the coming months, with a host of cosmetic and  mechanical upgrades, including new mild-hybrid and PHEV powertrains.

Cosmetic revisions for the new Skoda Octavia hatch include a new front grille, updated headlights and a revised bonnet line, bringing its styling in line with recently revised Superb. The Octavia estate’s side profile will also evolve over the previous model, with a more sharply sloping rear window and a larger rear wing.

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The profile of Skoda’s Octavia hatch will undergo a similar design evolution, with the current car’s extended rear window and rising metal line being ditched in favour of a more coupe-like appearance. The redesign shouldn’t hamper boot space, either, with a deeper floor and better packaging giving a likely 600 litres of capacity with the rear seats in place.

Inside, the new Octavia will get higher-grade plastics and fresh piano black trim, while its dash will feature the VW Group’s latest infotainment systems. Interior images are yet to surface, but entry-level models will probably get a 6.5-inch display, while mid-range models and up will come with either an eight-inch or 9.2-inch touchscreen.

The new Octavia’s dash should also feature a ledge below the infotainment screen, as seen on the Scala, where users can rest their hand when using the display. High-end models will feature a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle but, unlike the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf, Skoda will probably still offer analogue dials (with a central digital display) on entry-level models.

Skoda’s CEO, Benard Maiher, confirmed the new Octavia’s production schedule at the firm’s annual conference, stating: “The Octavia remains our best-selling product. We sold 388,200 units of the car in 2018, even in its seventh year of life. We will introduce a new generation of Octavia later this year, just in time for the model’s 60th birthday.”

The new Skoda Octavia will arrive in UK dealers late in the autumn. Prices are expected to rise slightly over the outgoing model, to around £18,000, to reflect the new car’s improvements in safety technology and infotainment.

New 2019 Skoda Octavia: engines and drivetrains

Two well-known Volkswagen Group engines will be offered in the new Octavia. The entry point will be a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol producing 114bhp, while at the core of the range will be the firm’s latest 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, with cylinder deactivation on demand and around 148bhp.

Skoda might have been tempted to axe the 1.0-litre engine from the Octavia range – reflecting its positioning above the Scala in the line-up – but Strube said: “We won’t drop the smaller engines. We are not premium. Octavia will be a normal car for normal people – a smart choice.”

Despite dropping diesel engines from its facelifted Fabia, Skoda remains committed to the fuel choice in its larger models, so the Octavia will have up to three diesel variants, with 1.6 and 2.0-litre capacities and power outputs from 114bhp up to 187bhp.

The fourth-generation Octavia should introduce electrification, too. Christian Strube, Skoda’s board member for technical development, confirmed to Auto Express that a plug-in hybrid version of the car is all but guaranteed. It should stick closely to the specifications of the Superb hybrid, which is due this year with a pure-electric range of around 40 miles.

On some engines, there’s also the potential for 48-volt ‘mild-hybrid’ power. The setup will likely make its debut on the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf, meaning Skoda could harness the technology on some of the Octavia’s variants as well. It’s conceivable that the Czech firm will initially limit 48v to the 1.5-litre version of the car, preferring to keep the 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor (which can also use the technology) simpler and cheaper.

New 2019 Skoda Octavia vRS spied

Our spy photographers recently spied a heavily camouflaged Skoda Octavia vRS estate undergoing testing. The development mule sports an aggressive styling package with wider air intakes for the front bumper, a deeper front splitter, a larger tailgate spoiler and a pair of rectangular exhaust tips.

Like all of Skoda’s performance-focussed models, we expect the cabin of the new Octavia vRS will feature a pair of sports seats, a leather sports steering wheel, a set of aluminium pedals and vRS-specific displays for the car’s digital dashboard and infotainment screen.

The new Octavia vRS will likely be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. It’ll be offered in various states of tune, with the most potent variant promising to be fastest Octavia yet, offering and output of around 260bhp. Like the current model, the engine will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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