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Škoda lifts the veil on new Octavia

Wednesday, 30th October, 2019 4:34pm

The fourth generation of Škoda’s top-selling Octavia will soon be showing its face to the world. Two design sketches provide a glimpse of the new look, which is more emotive than ever before. Take a look back at the all-new Octavia’s predecessors, on whose shoulders it will be standing.

The fourth modern generation of Škoda’s bestselling model will continue to combine compact dimensions with a generous amount of interior space. The distinctive front section gives shape to the car’s look, while the rear section is dominated by tail lights with crystalline elements.

The Octavia’s history now stretches back for a good 60 years, in which time more than 6.5 million units have hit the road.

The first Škoda Octavias saw the light of day in January 1959. Octavia, meaning eighth in Latin, signified not only that this was the marque’s eighth model since the Second World War, but was also emblematic of the fact that this was the eighth Škoda in the evolutionary line to feature the independent suspension the manufacturer had introduced in 1933.

The first Octavia bonnet concealed a robust 1.1-litre straight-four engine generating 29.4 kW and propelling the rear wheels via a four-speed gearbox. It had a top speed of 110 km/h and consumed 7.7 litres of petrol per 100 km. At the top end of the range, the Octavia Super came with a larger 1.2-litre engine capable of delivering 33 kW.

September 1960 saw the launch of the Octavia Combi, an estate version with a two-piece, horizontally split tailgate, which could accommodate loads of up to 1,050 litres with the rear-seat backrests folded down.

The last two-door Octavia rolled off the production line in Mladá Boleslav on 11 April 1964, making way for an all-new generation of the rear-engine Škoda 1000/1100 MB with self-supporting body. The last estate was made in Kvasiny on 21 December 1971. The modern-day Octavia, a liftback with a hinged fifth door, debuted in April 1996 and attracted attention thanks to features such as its spacious luggage compartment of between 528 and 1,328 litres. This was joined two years later by an even roomier estate, the Octavia Combi, and then, in 1999, by an all-wheel drive.

The second-generation of the modern-day Škoda Octavia, produced between 2004 and 2013, introduced enhanced utility value and a slew of innovations, such as direct fuel injection petrol engines and the DSG automatic dual-clutch transmission.

The third-generation Octavia, in production since November 2012 and fully facelifted in February 2017, is one of the central planks of the current Škoda range.

It has now been the car of choice for over 2.5 million customers.

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