Bold all-new Skoda Octavia to lead the way as the Czech brand plans nine new models by 2021
The next three years could prove to be one of the most transformational periods in Skoda’s near-123-year history, as the Czech brand prepares up to nine new cars. Leading the charge will be a new version of the firm’s biggest nameplate of all: the fourth-generation Skoda Octavia, previewed in our exclusive main image.
Although much of Skoda’s focus in recent times has been on expanding its SUV line-up, the Octavia remains its most important car and its true breadwinner. The Octavia has been part of Skoda’s range, on and off, since 1959, and last June the six-millionth example was built.
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The current third-generation model is still fresh from a facelift, so the next car won’t arrive until early 2020. However, it will leap forward significantly from the current version, taking on a range of enhancements and updates that are due to underpin the next Volkswagen Golf.
As such, the Mk4 Octavia will make use of an updated version of the VW Group’s venerable MQB architecture, enabling both plug-in hybrid and 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrains to appear in a Skoda for the first time.
Conventional petrol and diesel power will continue in Skoda’s big seller. Volkswagen’s 1.5-litre TSI petrol four-cylinder will stay, but a new diesel is expected, also 1.5 litres in capacity.
Improvements in practicality will be targeted, but the Octavia hatchback will retain its longer, saloon-inspired shape. “We see a long future for the Octavia – the new model will be state-of-the-art,” Skoda’s sales and marketing boss Alan Favey told Auto Express. “The new Octavia will continue the theme of looking like a saloon but actually being a hatch.”
A true family hatch rival to the new Ford Focus will arrive in the form of a replacement for the budget Rapid. Due in 2019, the next Rapid will move to the smallest version of the MQB A0 platform, which underpins superminis like the SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo.
The car will no longer be marketed as a cheap runaround, but will in effect become Skoda’s Golf equivalent, and take on a new name in the process.
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Signalling the car’s importance, the revolutionary Rapid replacement will also serve as the basis of Skoda’s next new SUV. Already previewed by the Vision X concept at the Geneva Motor Show back in March, the production model will arrive later in 2019, using the same platform and wheelbase.
It could be badged Anuq or Amiq, and it’ll be the brand’s smallest SUV when it arrives, occupying the same space as the VW T-Roc and SEAT Arona.
Skoda’s first all-electric car will be an EV variant of the Citigo, called Citigo E. Due next year, it’ll be a warm-up act for a production version of the Vision E concept seen at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. This car will be based on the VW Group’s new MEB platform.
Skoda timeline Late 2018: Skoda Kodiaq vRS
Next up for Skoda is the hot Kodiaq vRS, previewed in our exclusive image. A 237bhp 2.0 TDI is confirmed and it’s set to star at October’s Paris Motor Show.
Early 2019: Skoda Rapid
A totally new proposition, the next Rapid (previewed in our exclusive image) will get a new name as it takes on the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
2019: Skoda Kodiaq Coupe
A coupe variant of the Kodiaq, previewed in our image, is confirmed for China, although Skoda has no current plans to bring it to Europe.
2019: Skoda Vision X
Expanding Skoda’s new family of SUVs to three models, the Vision X-inspired crossover is set to be based on the next Rapid.
• Skoda Vision X concept review
2019: Skoda Superb
Skoda’s flagship saloon is due for a facelift next year, and our spies have caught it on test. Plug-in hybrid powertrain is the big news.
Late 2019: Skoda Citigo E
The Skoda Citigo (above) is to be developed with electric power, and will be badged Citigo E. But it’ll be short-lived as Skoda gears up for its first MEB EV.
Early 2020: Skoda Octavia
New big seller, previewed in our exclusive image, is to pack plug-in hybrid and 48V mild-hybrid tech as part of dual assault on family hatch market.
Late 2020: Skoda Vision E
The Skoda Vision E electric crossover has been seen in concept form, and will use MEB platform, offer 300-mile-plus range and start at about £30k.
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2021: Skoda Fabia
Next version of supermini will arrive three years from now.
Which new Skoda are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments section below…