The Czech Philharmonic performed, the Prime Minister Andrej Babis gave himself the honor and with him more than 500 guests in the National Gallery - a great evening for Skoda and the right setting for the presentation of the new Octavia. A car, the importance of which Skoda boss Bernhard Maier made clear to the guests with a few facts:
The Czech Volkswagen subsidiary is by far the largest private company in the country. Its 42.000 employees worldwide manufacture products that are exported to 100 countries around the world. With its suppliers, Skoda represents ten percent of the Czech gross domestic product and the Octavia model alone accounts for a quarter of the country's export volume. A single vehicle is currently unlikely to have more weight for any other country. This success, which manifests itself in 6,5 million cars of this model series sold to date, makes the Octavia, for example, the best-selling import model in Germany and the undisputed market leader in its segment in Europe. The new model, which will be launched in Europe as a sedan and combi at the end of March 2020, will then be reissued in China and India.
Brand icon and leader
This "icon of our brand" is valued worldwide - according to company boss Bernhard Maier - because of its clear design, the excellent space, a wealth of clever solutions and the fair price / performance ratio. What the new one will cost was left open at the time of the presentation. Once again it is possible to make the car new and yet immediately appear as a Skoda Octavia. The shapes are sharper and are even more pointed than their length without the model becoming measurably larger - apart from the two centimeters that the Combi adds. This cargo space champion in its class is particularly popular in Germany. Nine out of ten Octavias imported are Combis. This mega-quota will probably not change much with the new edition, because the Combi shows its qualities in an unmistakably brilliant way. The next Golf Variant - like all others in this segment - will have a very difficult time making up ground against this slim rival from the Czech Republic. With 640 liters, it offers another 30 liters more load volume than before. Even the sedan, whose rear end is much more flowing and elegant than before, has a 600-liter capacity behind the roof-high tailgate, ten liters more than before.
Octavia and Superb move visually together
The switch to LED lighting technology as the standard for the new Octavia brings together the previously separate lighting units at the front. This moves Octavia and Superb visually closer, because even the grille with its front apron and spoiler lip takes on this new Skoda design language. For the sake of very slim rear lights, it dispenses with the brand-typical C-light graphics. The term premium remains taboo in Prague, but the look in the interior actually says otherwise. Except for the perforated surfaces in the lower part of the door panels, which look a little after the first attempt, which was then not revised, very fine material is installed everywhere. Impeccable joints and discreetly clicking switches, if they still work mechanically, stand for what Skoda calls smart understatement.
New steering wheel with two spokes and more order
On the new two-spoke steering wheel less functions are housed, as the cockpit overall is even better ordered than before, although a lot of new features comes into the car. Not only by the virtual cockpit, which, although not series, but will certainly experience a high installation rate. In the middle is an optional 8,25 or 10 inch large monitor for operator control. Optionally, a head-up display in the Octavia is also being used for the first time. But disappears in the automatic variants of the classic selection lever. The drive-by-wire technology makes it replaceable by means of a chromed toggle switch in XXL format on the center console. The introduction of the new Group platform, which the Skoda Octavia shares with the Golf VIII, will increase the - in part optional - range of safety systems. The forward-looking adaptive distance controller opens the way to (partially) autonomous driving. The Octvia has helpers for evasive maneuvers, an exit warning system that uses the new Area View system, traffic sign recognition and of course an active Lane Keeping Assistant.
Dormitory in the vehicle rear
In the "simply clever" range, on the other hand, there are again typical Skoda ideas: the cover of the mop water tank becomes a funnel-shaped nozzle, which simplifies refilling. A Pinzip, which is also so for the Ad Blue refueling next to the diesel intake. For the trunk there are plastic angles that can be attached by means of Velcro anywhere on the floor and keep bags or boxes from slipping. The undoubtedly most ingenious solution, however, are the headrests in the rear which are optional for the Combi, which also support the head laterally and are marketed in combination with a blanket as a "sleeping package". Not only the many frequent travelers, but also on vacation driving stressed fathers will appreciate that.
Drive options from hybrid to natural gas
Drive technology, the answer is the Octavia: Everything goes, except purely electric. Here is the maximum a plug-in hybrid with a 37Ah lithium-ion battery and 55 kilometers purely electrical range, which brings in combination of 1,4 liter TSI and the electric motor, a system performance of 204 PS. In addition to the subsidy for the purchase brings an e-mark and tax exemption. Of the three other petrol engines, the 1,0 and the 1,5 liter TSI are optionally also available with a mild hybrid via the 48-Volt network. The top petrol engine with 2,0 liters and 190 PS will initially be offered exclusively with four-wheel drive and DSG. The three diesel alternatives are all based on 2,0 liter displacement and have 116, 150 or 200 PS performance. An economically and environmentally attractive alternative is also the 1,5 TSI G-Tec gasoline engine, which provides 130 PS and will be available with either manual or DSG (seven-speed) transmission. Customers with a need for rough driving will be using the Octavia Scout again over the years, and Skoda's sporting customers in this class can expect an Octavia RS again. The Eight, Latin namesake for the Octavia, is also lying as a symbol of infinity or here as a continuation of a success story. So far he has not been allowed to do just two things: call himself "premium" and also stir up the USA as the second largest car market in the world.