Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Skoda Octavia, 2013

  •  Skoda Octavia, 2013

The new Škoda Octavia sets standards in the compact segment. The Octavia's third generation more than ever confirms the car's unique position in its vehicle segment, impressing with an unrivalled space offering, new design, high functionality, innovative safety and comfort systems, low fuel consumption, wide range of "Simply Clever" solutions and a Škodatypical price-value ratio.

The Škoda Octavia in its overall package has always been about offering that little bit extra. This is down to the generous space offering, but also the fusion of an elegant saloon shape with the practical advantages of car with a large hatch, a fusion that is unique in this segment. The new generation confirms this uniqueness. "The new Octavia shows us resolutely continuing down a Škoda-typical road. It is a car with middle-class qualities at a compact-car price. It is an ideal car for demanding, confident customers expecting a modern Octavia with all its good values. It is our best," says Frank Welsch, Škoda board member for technical development.

Unrivalled space offering, optimum functionality
The new Škoda Octavia sets benchmarks in its class in terms of its space offering. "The new Octavia offers space such as is otherwise found only in higher classes," says Welsch. No other car in the compact segment offers more interior length (1,782 mm), more knee room (73 mm) and more headroom at the back (980 mm). Also best in class is the boot volume at 590 litres. Other interior dimensions have also increased significantly compared to the Octavia's second generation: front head room: + 8 mm, front elbow width: + 39 mm, rear elbow width: + 26 mm.

New refinement: a distinctive, clear and timeless design
The new Škoda Octavia is not just roomy and functional, it looks good, too. Škoda design chief Jozef Kaban and his team revised the car from head to toe, creating enthusiasm at first sight. Never before has a Škoda Octavia appeared as dynamic and at the same time as timelessly elegant, as distinctive, refined and assured on the road as this bestseller's third generation. "Each line and gap breathes love of precision and detail. The new Octavia is an unmistakable face in the automobile crowd," says Welsch.

Compared to its predecessor, the Octavia has grown significantly in length and width. The new model is 90 mm longer and 45 mm wider than the second-generation Škoda Octavia. At the same time, the wheelbase has grown by 108 mm, mainly benefiting the interior and space on the rear seats.

The front of the car is assured and confident thanks to an emphasis on horizontal lines and a new location for the Škoda logo. The side aspect of the new Škoda Octavia has become markedly more dynamic when compared to its predecessor. This is down to the long wheelbase as well as to the shortened front overhang and a C pillar pulled far backwards. The high, sharp tornado line provides the car with optical stretch and distinctively highlights its coupé-like silhouette. A special new characteristic is an upswept dynamic window line in the rear doors, the so-called "fin" - a small, but effective design idea providing the car with a forceful appearance and direction.

Its rear aspect is also about precision, classiness and perfect proportions. Everything is in the right place, well-positioned and tidy. Škoda's typical lighting graphic with its distinctive C-shaped lighting contour is executed in uncompromising brilliance. Tidiness, elegance and especially lots of space are what the new Octavia's interior is about. Škoda designers have completely redone the car's insides.

Safety at the highest level
In developing the new Škoda Octavia, an important goal was to make the car even safer. Accordingly, Škoda engineers developed a host of cutting-edge safety systems for the new Octavia including Front Assistant/emergency braking function (from May 2013), Lane Assistant, which keeps the Octavia on track, multicollisionbraking/ automatic brake actuation in an accident, Crew Protect Assistant/securing of the vehicle in an accident situation or Driver Activity Assistant (fatigue detection). These systems help avoid accidents or mitigate their consequences for occupants and other road users.

In addition, a precise chassis, a long wheelbase and a rigid and light body structure combine to ensure an extremely stable handling in Škoda's most recent offspring. In the event of an accident, a comprehensive package of passive safety elements provides optimum protection for driver and occupants. In the area of passive safety, up to nine airbags, finely interacting with 3-point safety belts, shield occupants from injury. Knee airbags (standard in EU countries) and rear side airbags are available for the first time in a Škoda Octavia.

New efficiency: CO2 emissions from 89 g/km
Engineers achieved significant improvements in the Škoda Octavia's consumption and emission figures thanks to newly developed petrol and diesel engines, a low drag coefficient and reduced vehicle weight.

The GreenLine version of the new Škoda Octavia (1.6 TDI/81 kW) achieves CO2 emissions of only 89 g/km and consumes a mere 3.4 litres of diesel per 100 km. In all, four petrol engines, all with cutting-edge TSI technology, and four modern TDI common-rail diesel engines are available, with a natural-gas version planned for later. Except for the relevant entry-level petrol and diesel option, all engines now are available in a Green tec version with a start-stop system and recuperation. The line-up runs all the way to the top option, the 1.8 TSI with 132 kW. Modern manual and automatic DSG transmissions are available, with all-wheel-drive versions in the works. A sporty-trim Škoda Octavia RS is also in the pipeline.

Despite its increased size and larger amount of technology on board, Škoda engineers have still succeeded in making the car up to 102 kilogrammes lighter than the Škoda Octavia's second generation. This was achieved thanks to resolute lightweight engineering, a progressive body design, utilisation of high- and ultra-tensile steel and a careful selection of materials. Actual weight reduction will vary depending on buildability of each vehicle configuration.

Supreme comfort through innovative technology
In addition, the new Škoda Octavia offers numerous new comfort functions such as hitherto available only in higher-segment vehicles. In addition to making their debut in the new Octavia, some of them are even becoming available for the first time ever in a Škoda. In this context, use of new technologies is no end in itself, but seeks to provide tangible added value to customers, meaning no fanciful knickknacks, but technology for people's sake, technology that makes mobility safer and more comfortable for people.

Available for the first time in a Škoda is the Adaptive Cruise Assistant, which automatically maintains a pre-set distance to the car ahead. The new Intelligent Light Assistant will switch to high beam and back automatically, increasing comfort and safety in traffic. The Automatic Parking Assistant makes parking the Octavia in and out easier. Also available for the first time in a Škoda will be in the future traffic-sign recognition as part of the 'Traveller Assistant' package. Driving Mode Selection enables drivers to set certain vehicle driving characteristics at the push of the button. Another first is the electric panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof: a transparent panorama roof enhancing comfort and wellbeing on board the Octavia. The new Octavia is also available with KESSY (Keyless-Entry-Start-and-Exit-System), the automatic door- and ignition-lock system.

New generation of infotainment systems
The new Škoda Octavia impresses with an all-new generation of radio and radio navigation systems. Touch displays with proximity sensors and swiping functionality will be available in higher-level systems, while the new CANTON sound system and an acoustically optimised passenger space provide pure listening pleasure.

Practical and functional thanks to ‚Simply Clever' solutions
As in every Škoda, life for occupants is made easier by a range of ‚Simply Clever' features in the new Octavia. Depending on trim level, the following items are available either as standard or as an option. They include foldable cargo elements for the boot, enabling safe anchoring of objects on the floor. A double-sided floor covering in the boot can be found for the first time in a Škoda Octavia. An ice scraper is placed inside the filler flap. A warning vest holder is located underneath the driver's seat and a rubbish bin inside the door panel. A multimedia holder has space for an iPod, a mobile phone and the like. A large overhead sunglasses compartment is just one of many storage bays, holders und hooks that make for an intelligent and clean organisation of interior and baggage space of the new Škoda Octavia. Also on board are the fuel-error prevention function and a boot cover folding away behind the rear seats.

The new Škoda Octavia: Safety on the highest level
A central objective in the development of the new Škoda Octavia was to make the vehicle even safer. The new model features a whole range of innovative systems that previously were the preserve of the mid-range and luxury class: from the Front Assistant to the proactive occupant protection Crew Protect Assistant. In case of a collision, a comprehensive package of passive safety elements is ensuring the best possible protection of both the driver and the passengers. The newly developed, precise chassis, the long wheelbase and the solid and light-weight body structure contribute to outstandingly stable handling of the most recent Škoda model.

"Safety for the occupants is the top maxim in the development of new vehicles," says Frank Welsch, Škoda board member for technical development. "In the Octavia, we raised the existing safety level, which was very good, to a whole new plane. Never before have the driver and the passengers been as safe in a Škoda as in the new Octavia," says Welsch.

Innovative assistance systems for even more safety
The portfolio of safety assistance systems for the new Škoda Octavia is extremely diverse. All systems have in common that they do not patronise the driver, but leave him in charge of driving the vehicle. However, they do make safe driving easier for him or her in many day-to-day and also in less common traffic situations.

After a collision in traffic, there is quite often the risk of a further collision, meaning a second impact: be it with the vehicle ahead, another road user, or with obstacles (crash barriers, trees). The Multi-Collision Brake, available for the first time in a Škoda, works to prevent this. In EU countries, Škoda fits this technology as standard. The Multi-Collision Brake automatically slows the vehicle after a detected collision - even if the driver no longer presses the brake pedal. A further collision is avoided and/or the speed at which the further collision takes place is reduced. The Multi-Collision Brake is a component of the Electronic Stability Control ESC. It slows down the car up to a residual speed of 10 km/h. Activation of the Multi-Collision Brake switches on the hazard flashers and the brake lights. The driver can override the system at any time by pressing the accelerator or initiating an emergency stop of his own volition. German automotive club ADAC recently presented the Volkswagen-developed Multi-Collision Brake with a safety innovation award.

Another debut in a Škoda is that of the Front Assistant in the new Octavia. The Front Assistant becomes active in case of an imminent head-to-tail collision. Just as with the Adaptive Cruise Assistant comfort feature that is also available in the Škoda Octavia, the Front Assistant uses a radar sensor integrated into the front end to continuously measure the distance to the vehicle ahead. The system works in four stages: The smaller the distance to the vehicle ahead becomes, the stronger the Front Assistant acts. The first stage is a visual warning alerting to insufficient distance. The next stage warns both visually and acoustically of an approaching obstacle and prepares the braking system. As a main warning, the third stage triggers a brief jerking of the brakes and then initiates the automatic partial braking. The highest stage finally turns the braking assistant to the highest sensitivity for automatic application of the brakes. If the driver does not react at all, an emergency braking takes place. This way, the system can reduce the severity of the accident and may, depending on the situation, even prevent a collision entirely.

In a speed range of 5 to 30 km/h, the Front Assistant works in conjunction with the City Emergency Braking Function to bring the Octavia to a full stop automatically if the driver does not react to an obstacle in the vehicle's path. The City Emergency Braking Function achieves a deceleration of 8 m/s2 in case of maximum risk of collision.

Driver fatigue is one of the most frequent causes of accidents. The Driver Activity Assistant (fatigue detection), available for the first time in the new Škoda Octavia, can reduce this problem. Based on observed steering behaviour, the system recognises deviations from normal handling and hence a weakening of the driver's concentration. The system analyses the steering behaviour 15 minutes after the engine has been started provided speed is more than 65 km/h, and stores the result as basis for a signal. A significant deviation from the characteristic steering behaviour will indicate fatigue of the driver triggering a visual message in the cluster instrument - "fatigue detected - please take break" - recommending a pause.

In the Crew Protect Assistant pro-active occupant protection, Škoda makes another system available in the new Škoda Octavia that was hitherto mainly used in luxury vehicles. The Crew Protect Assistant 'prepares' the driver and the passengers for an impending accident: In case of a detected risk - for instance, emergency braking or a driving situation rated critical - the system pre-tightens the seat belts for both the driver and the passengers. In addition, the system closes the side windows (except for a remaining gap) and the sunroof in case of critical instable driving situations such as in strong oversteering or understeering with triggering of the ESC. This is done to prevent objects from entering the car.

The Lane Assistant, a premiere at Škoda, also considerably improves driving safety. The lane departure warning assistant lowers the risk of inadvertently leaving the lane. It supports drivers of the new Octavia especially on motorways and highways with clearly visible lane markings. The system works with a camera integrated into the base of the interior rear-view mirror in the windshield. The camera detects lane markings in front of the car at speeds of 65 km/h and above. The lane departure warning assistant recognises an unintended departure from the lane, providing a visual message in the cluster instrument, and initiates corrective steering. Without recognisable lane markings, the system does not work. If the turning signal is turned on prior to crossing a marking, the Lane Assistant also does not react.

Comprehensive protection in a collision
Unfortunately, not even the best safety systems can prevent each and every accident. If, despite all precautions, a collision or impact occurs, the new Škoda Octavia provides driver and passengers with the best possible protection available. For the first time, the Octavia features a knee airbag for the driver (standard in EU countries) as well as rear side airbags. Up to nine airbags protect the occupants from injuries in a finely adjusted interaction with the 3-point seatbelts, providing comprehensive protection from injury. In addition, the front-seat passenger airbag can be deactivated when transporting an infant carrier.

As a rule, all occupants are secured with 3-point seat belts (height-adjustable in the front) with pre-tensioners (in the rear, optional in combination with side airbags). Integrated belt force limiters reduce forces to an occupant's chest. For increased child safety, Isofix child seats can be firmly connected to the car using apposite mounts on the backseat and also with an additional top safety belt, the so-called TopTether. Upon request, Isofix anchors can also be integrated into the front-seat passenger seat.

In all countries of the European Union, safety features such as the anti-skid program Electronic Stability Control (ESC) including the Multi-Collision Brake, seven airbags, the deactivatable front-seat passenger airbag, and Daytime Running Lights come as standard. ESC is triggered in critical driving situations and systematically prevents the vehicle from swerving in curves.

Improved axles, longer wheel base make for a modern chassis
Stable handling with high agility in curves and balanced suspension comfort were the objectives of the Škoda Octavia's chassis developers. The result is remarkable: a stable, balanced chassis that optimally fulfils all safety and comfort requirements.

The chassis of the new Octavia uses one of two types of rear axle. Petrol engine versions with up to 103 kW und diesel engines up to 110 kW come with a newly designed twist beam rear axle. More powerful engines as well as future all-wheel-drive (Combi) and natural gas CNG drive versions will use a newly developed multi-link rear axle.

The torsion beam rear axle consists of a cross-section open at the bottom in which an inlay sheet is welded in at the end, each. The inlay sheets are of different lengths so that different torsion rates can be achieved. In comparison to a welded-in tubular stabiliser, this design leads to a significant weight advantage. The twist beam rear axle weighs 38 kg, that is 15 kg less than the rear axle previously used in the Octavia - with increased rigidity and improved roll-steer behaviour.

The multilink rear axle was also systematically improved, especially with an eye on the weight. Use of high-strength steel as well as structural improvements in a large number of components reduced weight by 4 kg to a current 49 kg. The underlying design principle with its systematic separation of longitudinal and transverse rigidity assures excellent comfort and handling characteristics.

At the front, the new Octavia features a MacPherson front axle (struts) with a newly developed wishbone at the bottom. High-strength steel for the wishbone and an innovative bionics design approach at the rocker pivot contribute to both weight savings and stability. The auxiliary frame mounted centrally on the front axle is designed for the highest transverse rigidity. Overall, 2.8 kg of weight have been saved in the front axle.

The wheel base of the new Škoda Octavia has grown by 108 mm in comparison to its predecessor. This is the longest wheel base in the segment. This significantly larger distance between the front axle and the rear axle additionally has a positive effect on the vehicle's road handling stability.

Safe and lighter-weight body due to innovative manufacturing methods
Thanks to innovative use of high-strength and highest-strength steels as well as new manufacturing methods have resulted in a body for the new Škoda Octavia that is not only lighter but also sturdier than that of its predecessor model. Approximately a quarter (26.1 per cent) of the safety architecture consists of hot formed, highest-strength steels. These components are up to six times stronger than common deep-drawing steels and are up to four times as strong as conventional high-strength steels. They are created by heating steel at high temperatures (approx. 950 degrees Celsius), forming it while it is still glowing, and then cooling it down to 180 degrees Celsius within 5.5 seconds. The advantage is that components thus manufactured be made considerably thinner than before for the same crash resistance - this saves weight and leads to fuel savings in the new Škoda Octavia.

Efficient and powerful: the engines for the new Škoda Octavia
The third generation of the Škoda Octavia uses a newly developed generation of modern petrol and diesel engines. Compared with their predecessors, fuel consumption and emission values of the engines are lower by up to 23 per cent. All in all, there will be eight engine versions available: four TSI petrol engines and four TDI common-rail diesel engines.

The range of available engines for the new Škoda Octavia includes eight units, from the 1.2 TSI/63 kW to the top performance engine, the 1.8 TSI with an output of 132 kW. An economical GreenLine version is on offer too. A natural gas version as well as a sporty Octavia RS are in the pipeline. The GreenLine sustainable version of the new Octavia, a 1.6 TDI with a power output of 81 kW, has a CO2 emission value of only 89 g/km and uses less than 3.4 litres diesel for 100 km. In EU countries, all engines - except for the basic engines - come standard with a start/stop system and brake energy recovery via the starter generator (Green tec/GreenLine models). Transmissions include modern manual gearboxes and the automatic DSG double-clutch transmission.

Four petrol engines with 63 to 132 kW
The petrol engines in the new Škoda Octavia are all turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engines with a four-cylinder, four-valve layout.

The entry-level petrol engine of the Octavia is the 1.2 TSI with 63 kW (86 hp) with a combined-cycle fuel consumption of 5.2 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km. Turbocharging produces a maximum torque of 160 Nm (at 1,400 to 3,500 rpm). This entry-level engine comes with a manual 5-speed transmission.

The improved performance version of the 1.2 TSI Green tec, which includes a start/stop system and brake energy recuperation, manages an output of 77 kW (105 hp) and is even more economical with a combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km. The TSI engine provides a maximum torque of 175 Nm at between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm. As an alternative to the manual six-speed, the engine can be ordered with an automatic DSG seven-speed transmission.

The 1.4 TSI Green tec with 103 kW (140 hp) can be combined with a manual sixspeed or an automatic DSG seven-speed transmission. Fuel consumption of the 1.4 TSI is 5.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are 121 g/km in combination with manual transmission and start/stop technology. The engine achieves its maximum torque of 250 Nm at 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.

The highest-performance petrol engine for the Octavia is the 1.8 TSI Green tec with 132 kW (180 hp). Maximum torque of 250 Nm is available between 1,250 and 5,000 rpm. In combination with a 7-speed DSG direct shift gearbox, combined-cycle fuel consumption is 5.7 l/100 km and emissions are 131 g CO2 per kilometre.

TDI diesel engines with up to 320 Nm
All diesels available in the new Octavia are turbocharged TDI direct injection engines with four cylinders and four-valve technology.

The entry-level diesel engine for the new Octavia is the 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp), with a combined-cycle consumption of 4.1 l/100 km and emissions of 109 g CO2 per kilometre.

Fuel consumption of the 1.6 TDI Green tec with 77 kW (105 hp) with start/stop and manual five-speed transmission is 3.8 l/100 km and CO2 emissions amount to 99 g/km. The engine delivers a maximum torque of 250 Nm at between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm. In addition to the manual gearbox, this engine can also be ordered with the automatic DSG seven-speed transmission.

The GreenLine-Version 1.6 TDI with 81 kW (110 hp) is the most economical diesel engine, emitting only 89 g/km CO2 and a fuel consumption of only 3.4 l/100 km. It is available with a manual six-speed transmission.

The most powerful diesel engine for the new Octavia is the 2.0 TDI Green tec with 110 kW (150 hp). This high-performance engine with a six-speed DSG achieves excellent environmental values with a fuel consumption of only 4.5 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km. In addition, the engine impresses with its outstanding smooth running characteristics and makes its maximum torque of 320 Nm available at as low as between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual and an automatic DSG double-clutch transmission.

Technology highlights of the new generation of engines
The petrol engines of the new Octavia belong to Volkswagen Group's EA211 model series. These TSI four-valve four-cylinders set new standards regarding energy efficiency, lightweight design and pulling power. Reduced internal friction and weight as well as optimised thermal management provide for up to 23 % lower fuel consumption and emissions.

The EA211 engines are a completely new development. Compared to its predecessor the EA111, the EA211 series is significantly more compact, with installation length 50 mm shorter, thus offering more interior space. The installation position of the engines has also been optimised. Just as in the diesels, the petrol engines are now mounted with the exhaust side facing backwards and tilted at an angle of 12 degrees.

The weight of these petrol engines made of die-cast aluminium is only 97 kg for the 1.2 TSI and 106 kg for the 1.4 TSI. Compared to the EA111 predecessor engines used in the Octavia, this is a reduction of up to 22 kg. The crankshaft alone became lighter by 20 per cent; the connecting rods lost 30 per cent of their weight. In addition the connecting rod bearing journals are now hollow-drilled and pistons now come with flat bottoms, all of them optimised for lower weight.

Regarding thermal management, the EA211 petrol engine is equipped with a modern dual-circuit cooling system. That means that a high temperature circuit with a mechanically driven cooling pump cools the basic engine, while a low temperature circuit flows through the intercooler and the turbo-charger casing. The cylinder-head circuit heats the cabin's interior. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head, enabling the engine to warm up more quickly, in turn making heat available quickly for the passenger cabin. At high loads, the exhaust is cooled by the coolant, lowering fuel consumption.

The particularly economical diesel engines are from the EA288 model series. Compared to the previous generation, the fuel consumption of the new engines is lower by up to 0.8 l/100 km. Exhaust-relevant components, such as the injection system, the charging and the intercooling systems have been improved. Components for exhaust-gas aftertreatment, such as the oxidation catalyst and the diesel particulate filter, are now located closer to the engine. Piston rings with a lower pretension and particularly lowfriction roller contact bearings are used for the camshaft to reduce friction in the engine.

The new diesel engines also feature innovative thermal management. During the warming-up phase of the engine, separate circuits cool the cylinder head and the engine block, enabling the engines to reach their operating temperature much faster and the interior warms up much more quickly in winter.

The new Škoda Octavia: Commanding, dynamic and timelessly elegant
The new Škoda Octavia makes its mark in its segment in every possible way. The team around Škoda's chief designer Jozef Kaban has designed a vehicle that triggers immediate enthusiasm. In comparison to its predecessor, the car has grown and has become more commanding, more distinctive and more dynamic. As never before, the Škoda Octavia stands out from the crowd.

Every line and joint evidences the attention to detail. The teams from design, development and production have left nothing to chance. "Perfect proportions, highest precision, clear lines and sharp edges - the new Škoda Octavia is the impressive embodiment of the new design language of the brand," says Frank Welsch, Škoda board member for technical development.

Concentration on the essentials has been the motto: to a large extent, the vehicle does without decorative elements. The Octavia does not need any 'gimmicks.' Instead, it displays its value through attractive shapes, precision and its elegance in its appearance. "By being clear and concentrating on the essential, we have endowed the Octavia with a new quality," says Jozef Kaban. "The harmonious proportions are what makes the car, not overloaded decorations."

The front end of the Škoda Octavia - more commanding and distinctive than ever
The front end of the car shows class, is commanding and assertive - without appearing pretentious. Accentuating details and emphasising horizontal lines has made the front end border on the prestigious. At the same time, the 'face' of the Octavia can be recognised unmistakably as that of Škoda by its characteristic shapes and the arrangement of design elements such as the radiator grille, the logo and the headlights.

The new Škoda logo has been placed prominently on the bonnet - the "premium location," as designers call it. At the same time, the logo is the origin of almost all the lines of the car. The logo already represents the ultimate in precision and clarity: it shows the finely detailed finned arrow in chrome on matte-black background, surrounded by a fine chrome line.

The radiator grille with its 19 vertically slats forms the centre of the vehicle's front end. In the new Octavia, the grille has grown slightly and is now placed a little higher than was the case still with the second generation. In addition, to give the grille added visual emphasis, the designers separated it more clearly from the headlights. Slight curves make the outer shape more dynamic. A fine strip of chrome surrounds the radiator grille - for an elegant, distinctive finish.

Together with the grille, the distinctively shaped headlights form a closed, characteristic front-end graphic. With their precisely worked-out, sharply cut form and thanks to their horizontal arrangement, the car's completely redesigned headlights emphasise the width of the front-end of the Octavia. At the same time, the skilful design of the headlights again emphasises the subject of precision. The type of the surface finish and the working of precisely cut edges resemble that of cut glass. Deliberate variations on such crystalline design elements emphasises the roots of the vehicle in the Czech Republic, a country with a great tradition in crystal glass.

The vertical lines of the radiator grille fins continue in the vertical light lines of the bixenon headlights, including LED daytime running lights. This aesthetically pleasing continuation of the lines is reminiscent of eyelashes in their gracefulness and provides the new Octavia with a unique 'face'.

The front fog lights fulfil an important optical function as they combine with the headlights to form a cloverleaf shape. This emphasises the "likeable" appearance of the new Octavia. The air intake with its honeycomb grille is located between the front fog lights. This structural arrangement provides functional advantages and makes the new Octavia sporty, youthful and fresh.

The commanding bonnet also conveys solidity and value. Shaped three-dimensionally, it elevates the front part of the vehicle and strengthens the appearance of the overall vehicle.

Dynamic side profile
In comparison to the predecessor model, the side of the new Škoda Octavia is clearly sportier and more dynamic. "We strengthened the proportions," said Jozef Kaban. The wheelbase is 108 mm longer than that of its predecessor model (2,686 mm vs. 2,578 mm). The front overhang is 886 mm, which is 29 mm less than in the Octavia II. The vehicle thus gains in dynamic appearance. Total length of the vehicle is 4,659 mm, which is a plus of 90 mm when compared to the predecessor. The C-pillar, pulled far back, clearly separates the vehicle from traditional 3-box design. This does not compromise interior space, on the contrary: interior space has increased in comparison to the second-generation Octavia.

The sharp Tornado line also emphasises the powerful appearance of the new Octavia, stretching the car visually and emphasises its coupé-like silhouette. The angled rear window amplifies the effect. Sharp lines mark changeovers in the surface areas, creating another a reference to crystalline design. The Tornado line emphasises the dynamic sculpture of the Škoda Octavia and creates an effective contrast of light and shadow. The designers visually "broke up" the lower areas of the vehicle's sides. The so-called 'Light-Reflecting Surface' brings dynamism and airiness to the side view. The line required for this effect runs from the front of the vehicle all the way to the back and ends in the reflector element of the rear bumper.

The rear - uncompromisingly clean style
The rear view of the new Octavia also embodies precision, top value and perfect proportions. Everything is in its proper place, arranged well and styled cleanly. The new Škoda brand logo is in the centre of the boot lid. The left side of the boot lid shows the Škoda company name, while the right side bears the Octavia model designation in new lettering.

The taillights graphic is typical of Škoda with its distinctive C-shaped lighting contour and has been executed in the new Octavia with brilliant consistency. For the first time, each taillight now features two C-shaped light strips that enhance the graphic effect. In the top version, the strips are made from LED light strips. Crystal-like structures are visible in the taillights as well. As a supplement to the graphical arrangement of the lights, the new Octavia has two reflecting light strips. These 'cat eyes' run dynamically from the side of the vehicle into the rear area.

Another rear-view feature that is characteristic of the brand are the two triangles on the left and right sides of the boot lid that are detailed with precise lines. They connect the graphics of the taillights with the boot lid. These triangles at the rear of new Škoda models are an elegant eye-catcher. A black diffuser forms the tail end, integrating technical elements such as parking assist sensors and the optionally available trailer hitch and completely the exhaust system.

Fresh interior space
Clean styling, timeless elegance and above all, lots and lots of space, such are the concepts that are evident in the interior of the new Octavia. Each Škoda stands for spaciousness. The designers were impressively successful in providing this space with a new definition in the Octavia. Everything is aesthetically appealing, precise and refined, whether it is control elements or air intake vents, whether dashboard, steering wheels, gear shift levers, panels, door openers or power windows. The designers have given the interior a complete makeover.

The interior of the Octavia impresses with its horizontal orientation and generous space offering. There is none of the traditional subdivision of the dashboard by means of decorative trims. This provides the interior with a fresh feeling. It also means that the front-seat passenger has an optimised view of the instruments. Jozef Kaban says: "The driver and the passenger have virtually the same rights. Our motto is equal comfort for everyone aboard."

In the interior of the new Octavia, ergonomics plays a major role: "The feeling you have in the Octavia is that of wearing a well-tailored suit," says Kaban. "Everything fits perfectly, and you feel great. The vehicle imparts a feeling of value and solidity that one does not necessary expect to see in this segment."

Centrally located in the centre console, beneath the hazard warning flasher switch, is the radio infotainment system with all the necessary menu buttons and knobs. The newly developed systems feature touch displays of up to 8-inches in size with proximity sensors, depending on the model. Underneath the infotainment module are the controls for the air conditioning system. Clarity and precision are a recurring theme in all aspects of all elements of the interior. The white-backlit instrument panel has been redesigned. For the first time, the multi-function display Maxi DOT in the centre of the instrument cluster of the Octavia can be ordered in colour.

The door panels in the new Octavia also provide a feeling of quality. In the upper equipment packages, for example, elegant decor trims flows into the door handles - almost like a sculpture. The power window controls are ergonomically easy to reach in the arms rests. On the driver's side, the electric mirror adjustment controls sit underneath the door handle.

Variety and individuality
Three equipment lines are available for the Škoda Octavia: Active, Ambition and Elegance. Wheel sizes vary depending on the line (15 or 16 inch, steel or alloy) as do interior colours (ranging from black to black-grey to black-beige), decor choices, air conditioning, storage compartments, instrument clusters, infotainment or safety equipment. The options for individualisation of the new Octavia are almost limitless, be it chrome strips, nine steering wheel versions with three or four spokes, nine wheel designs and four wheel sizes, from 15 to 18 inches - no desires will remain unfulfilled.

Altogether, twelve colours are available for the exterior: three solid paints in Candy white, Corrida red, and Pacific blue as well as nine metallic paints, from Topaz brown, Race blue, Platin grey, Brilliant silver, Denim blue, Rosso Brunello, Cappuccino beige, and Lava blue to Magic black with pearl effect.

The new Škoda Octavia sets standards in terms of space, comfort and functionality
Since its first edition in 1996, the Škoda Octavia has been a unique vehicle in its segment. At home in the compact class, it offers mid-range qualities throughout. This is in particular illustrated by its spaciousness, the advanced technology and the high functionality of the model. The new Škoda Octavia is impressively reemphasising this uniqueness and convinces with a spaciousness second to none, innovative comfort and modernday infotainment systems.

One unique selling point of the Škoda Octavia in the compact segment is the combination of the elegant saloon car shape with the practical advantages of a car with a large fifth door. "With its package, the Octavia is always a little 'more' car," says Škoda's chairman of the board, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. "The new Octavia uncompromisingly continues this path. It points out the future direction of the brand and is more than ever a vehicle with mid-range qualities at a compact price."

Benchmark in terms of space for occupants and luggage
The space available for occupants and luggage in the new Škoda Octavia convinces with best in class value. No other vehicle in the compact segment offers more interior length, more legroom and more headroom in the back. The interior length of the third generation Škoda Octavia has grown - in comparison to its predecessor - by 33 mm to 1,782 mm, while the legroom for the backseat passengers grew by 47 to now 73 mm. The headroom in the back was increased to 980 mm (Octavia II: 966 mm). The elbow width was also considerably increased, in the front by 39 mm to 1,454 mm, and in the rear by 26 mm to 1,449 mm. Similarly, the shoulder room was considerably optimised, in the front to 1,398 mm by adding 19 mm, and in the rear to 1,378 mm, a plus of 4 mm.

As usual with Škoda, the boot of the new Škoda Octavia establishes another best in class standard: the boot volume increased by another five litres to 590 litres - in comparison to the previous top value of the Octavia II's 585 litres. The boot lid of the new Octavia is swinging wide open and makes loading extremely easy: the boot opening length reaches an impressive 1,123 mm - an increase of 28 mm in comparison to the second generation Octavia and simultaneously a new record in the segment. At 699 mm, the loading sill height is one of the lowest in the compact class.

In addition, the new Octavia offers higher variability. Premiering in May 2013 will be the folding down passenger seat and the rear seat backrests that can be folded down from the boot. For the first time in a Škoda, the rear seat backrest can be folded down from the boot with the mere push of a button. With the backseats down, loading volume grows to a maximum of 1,580 litres - an increase of 125 litres compared with the second generation Octavia.

At almost 4.66 metres, the new Octavia is 90 mm longer and, at 1.81 metres (without exterior rear-view mirrors) it is 45 mm wider than its predecessor. At the same time, the wheel base increased by 108 mm. The new Octavia features the longest wheel base in the segment, almost 2.69 metres. These new dimensions do not just provide for an impressive appearance, they also make the new Octavia extremely spacious.

Innovative technology for more comfort in the Octavia
The utilisation of new technologies is no end in itself. Škoda's supreme goal has always been to make driving a car as safe and as comfortable as possible. To this end, the new Škoda Octavia provides a series of new comfort functions as well as numerous assistance systems for more safety.

The Adaptive Cruise Assistant (ACA) is available for the first time in a Škoda. Previously, automatic distance regulation was reserved primarily to vehicles of more upscale segments. In the new Škoda Octavia, the system now comes to the Škoda compact class. ACA maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead at a selected speed, controlling the engine and actuating the brakes to automatically accelerate or decelerate as needed. The system combines a cruise control system with a distance controller. A radar sensor in the front end of the vehicle provides the data. ACA works with manual transmissions and with automatic double-clutch transmissions DSG - at a speed range of 30 to 160 km/h. In the case of the Octavia with DSG, the vehicle can even be automatically slowed down all the way to a full stop.

In practice, drivers do not always turn the high beams off in time. The new Intelligent Light Assistant automatically controls use of the high beams, improving the comfort and safety in traffic. From a speed of 60 km/h on and in case of sufficient darkness, this assistant automatically turns on the high beam. When closing in on a vehicle ahead (at a distance of up 400 meters) or in the case of an oncoming vehicle (at a distance of up to approx. 1.000 meters), the system automatically dims the headlights to prevent not blind other road users. Even when the Intelligent Light Assistant is activated, the driver can manually turn the high beams on or off and remains in control at all times. The system utilises a camera built into the base of the interior mirror which is solidly connected to the windshield. It captures the light signals and passes the data on to the control device located in the mirror's housing.

Another purpose of this camera is road sign recognition, offered in the Octavia for the first time in a Škoda. An image processing module inspects the images captured for speed limit and no-passing signs including relevant additional information such as "Speed limit 80 km/h when wet" or "No passing of trucks" as well as the signs announcing the end of the respective restriction. Thanks to automatic traffic sign recognition, drivers can focus more on the traffic situation. The presentation takes place in the multi-function Maxi DOT display in the instrument cluster and/or in the display of the navigation system in the centre console.

Available in the new Octavia for the first time ever in a Škoda is the most recent version of the Automatic Parking Assistant. In addition to entering and exiting parking spots parallel to the traffic lane, it now supports entering parking spots backwards perpendicular to the traffic lane. This is how it works: The driver activates the system with the push of a button at speeds up to 40 km/h and then sets his turning signal depending on which side of the street he intends to park on. The system uses ultrasound sensors to detect available parking spaces. It then measures surrounding area for parking lot of a sufficient size and determines the starting point for the parking maneuver, which it then performs automatically once the driver has put the car in reverse and presses the accelerator. Accelerating and braking is left to the driver, with the system handling all other tasks comprising the parking maneuver including steering the car along an ideal trajectory. If the driver accelerates to more than 7 km/h as the car enters the parking spot, or if the car encounters an obstacle, the systems stops the car via the emergency braking function.

The completely revised Intelligent Park Distance Assistant offer enhanced functionalities. The system operates in combination with the Bolero infotainment radio or the Amundsen and Columbus infotainment navigation systems. Thanks to special distance sensors, acoustic and visual notifications in the infotainment display are presented regarding the distance to the vehicle in front and in the rear. In doing so, the Intelligent Parking Assistant will only display notifications in the direction of the car's motion.

Driving a car is a highly personal matter. While one person may be taking it rather easy, another might prefer things to be sportive. The Driving Mode Selection, new to the brand and model, allows drivers to adjust certain handling characteristics in the new Škoda Octavia at the push of a button. Four driving modes are available: NORMAL, SPORT, ECO and INDIVIDUAL. Depending on the selected mode, a whole number of settings are changed, e.g. in the engine and DSG transmission control systems, coasting, power steering, ACA distance control, bi-xenon headlight control or Climatronic A/C system.

The NORMAL mode allows for relaxed driving but also leaves leeway for dynamic driving. The SPORT mode provides for particular agility on the road, the power steering or the automatic shifting of the DSG transmission are accordingly adjusted to a direct and tight setting. The ECO mode leads to a lower fuel consumption, e.g. though shifting earlier, later throttle response and a more moderate setting of the A/C system. In the INDIVIDUAL mode, the driver can configure selected characteristics of the Škoda Octavia to his or her liking.

An extremely convenient feature is the KESSY (Keyless Entry Start and Exit System). The driver will still carry the key to the vehicle with him, but no longer needs to hold it in hand to open and start the Škoda Octavia. The KESSY control unit will recognise the key at a distance of up to 1.50 m from the car. If the driver operates the door handle or the hatch of the boot, the vehicle will unlock automatically. Starting the car is also done via the push of a button, located to the right of the steering column.

The electrically operated panoramic tilt/slide sunroof is available for the new Škoda Octavia as an option. The one-piece pane consists of tinted, heat-insulating glass and has a size of 821 × 981 mm. The glass reflects 92 per cent of the incoming heat and 90 per cent of the light. With the help of the electric motor, the panoramic roof can be tilted up or slid open to the rear. Upon opening, a wind-breaking element lifts up at the front edge to prevent a draft into the interior of the cabin and to reduce wind noise. Both driver and front-seat passenger can operate the panoramic roof via a combination rotary switch located centrally in the front in the roof liner. Eight different settings are available. In addition, the glass roof can be darkened as needed with a rolling mesh shade.

The new Octavia features a completely newly developed generation of A/C systems with significantly increased efficiency. The fully automatic Climatronic manages the cabin's interior temperature via a 2-zone control based on sun, air quality and humidity sensors. The sun sensor captures the intensity and direction of the sun's rays. The air quality sensor analyses the air quality. The humidity sensor allows operation of the A/C system's compressor in line with demand, the Climatronic turning the compressor on and off as needed. This leads to significant fuel savings.

Contemporary infotainment with up to 8-inch touch screen

The new Škoda Octavia amazes with new infotainment technology: for the first time in a Škoda, advanced systems feature touchscreen with proximity sensor. Pure hearing pleasure is provided by the new CANTON sound system in the Octavia and the soundoptimised passenger space.

Above and beyond radio and navigation functions, all infotainment systems feature vehicle-specific settings, to be controlled via the 'CAR' button next to the screen. Depending on the vehicle's equipment, side windows, exterior rear-view mirrors, parking sensors, lights, central locking or the auxiliary heating system can be operated via the infotainment system.

The new basic Blues and Swing radios feature a monochrome TFT display with a resolution of 310 × 70 pixels. In both versions, there are four loudspeakers in the front. Blues features basic radio functions and a USB and aux-in connection through which, for instance, an MP3 player can be operated. Swing's enhanced version offers a CD drive and a connection for a SD card, with a Bluetooth function and a Phone Box available as options. To the left and to the right of the TFT display three buttons provide access to menus and 'Radio', 'Media', 'Phone' as well as 'Setup', 'Car' and 'Back' functions.

Bolero radio/CD and Amundsen navigation system feature a 5.8-inch touch screen with colour display at a resolution of 400 × 240 pixels. The display features proximity sensors: As soon as a finger comes near it, the system switches automatically to operating mode. Pinch-to-zoom functions familiar from smartphones make operation easy. The Bolero radio system, for example, is equipped with FM/AM radio, four loudspeakers each, in the front and the rear, CD drive, USB and aux-in connections as well as an interface for SD cards. Bolero is optionally available with Bluetooth and Phone Box. The Amundsen radio navigation system additionally features 2D-navigation display, two interfaces for SD cards and Bluetooth functionality. Four buttons to the right and four to the left of the display activate the menu and additional functions such as 'Phone' and 'Sound' menu levels. As an option, Bolero and Amundsen can be ordered with DAB digital radio and a high-quality Canton sound system.

The Columbus radio navigation system leaves hardly any infotainment desire unfilled. Its 3D navigation display uses a large 8-inch touch screen with a resolution of 800 × 480 pixels. A DVD player (audio and video) takes the place of a CD player. In addition, Columbus offers a screen with proximity sensors, media-in connection incl. Apple video functionality, menu guidance, eight loudspeakers, 2 SD card slots, Bluetooth high-end telephone functionality, voice control, JPEG viewer and an internal 64 GB flash memory.

All systems feature USB and aux-in interfaces - or a Media-In connection in the Columbus - located separately underneath the A/C operating panel. This prevents cable chaos.

The CANTON sound system is available for particularly refined sound. The system comprises eight powerful loudspeakers in the side doors, one central loudspeaker located in the dashboard, as well as a subwoofer in the boot. Total power of the system is 570 watts.

For the first time in a Škoda, the Octavia offers a Phone Box, a storage compartment for the mobile phone in the centre console. Its highlight is a planar antenna in the bottom of the compartment, which permits a so-called inductive exterior antenna connection. With the mobile phone resting on the console, signals travel between the phone and the vehicle's antenna via short-distance communications, providing optimum send and receive characteristics just as in a fixed telephone installation. The Phone Box enables mobile calls even with weak radio signals and takes strain off the phone's battery as the antenna coupling reduces power consumption.

The new Škoda Octavia: Simply Clever
The third generation of the Octavia is a 'Simply Clever' car all the way through. This is embodied by the package of an elegant saloon car with a large fifth door as well as the above-average space offering as well as many ingenious features.

A truly 'Simply Clever' feature is the combination of an elegant saloon car shape with the practical advantages of a vehicle with a large fifth door, which is unique in the segment. "This package again sets the Octavia apart in this segment and makes it unique," says Welsch. "Our customers expect a new Octavia to always be offer a bit 'extra car', and rightly so. The third generation meets these expectations once again in an impressive manner."

A whole range of 'Simply Clever' features ensures this: be it innovative cargo fastening elements, the practical net program, numerous fastening locations, or the ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap - the new Octavia has become even more practical, more functional and more ingenious.

From A - Z, the functionality of the interior has been thought out even more thoroughly. A multimedia holder in the cup holder of the centre console makes room for the mobile phone or iPod. There is rubbish bin for the storage area in the door. And there is also no lack of beverage holders. Up to eight bottles can be put into holders designed specifically for them. One 1.5 litre bottle in each of the two front doors, two 0.5 litre bottles up front in the centre console, one 0.5 litre bottle each in both rear doors and optionally, two 0.5 litre bottles in the folded-down rear centre armrest.

In the future, there will be no annoying searches and no more snow on the seats when opening the doors on cold winter days: an ice scraper is located in the fuel filler flap - and it comes as a standard. Simply push into the fuel filler flap and retrieve it easily when needed. In the new Octavia, there is also a fixed spot for the warning vest, which is mandatory in many places. The warning vest holder is immediately accessible underneath the driver's seat. No more time-consuming searches in the boot, loaded or not.

The developers at Škoda came up with extremely clever ideas for the boot of the Octavia. Not only is it the largest one in the segment, with a volume of 590 litres, but also, without a doubt, the most practical. For the first time ever, the Octavia has a double-sided floor mat in the boot: during normal use, a high-quality carpet ensures comfort and provides a pleasant appearance. However, when transporting dirty hiking shoes, plants or wet ski boots, the carpet is simply turned over, offering a dirt- and water-repelling surface.

The so-called cargo fastening elements are new. They can fasten cartons and boxes, among other things, securely in the boot, preventing them from sliding around route. The cargo elements can be folded for storage on the sides of the boot. When needed, they can be unfolded and velcroed to the boot floor. To secure items, simply squeeze them in between the cargo elements.

In addition, the following is available for the boot: all kinds of useful features, such as the net program, a dual bag hook, lashing points and the option to automatically fold down the rear seat backrest from the boot with the mere push of a button.

The new Škoda Octavia: Lighter and more economical
The new Škoda Octavia proves Škoda's power of innovation and employs impressive technology that works for the customer. Depending on the engine, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in this new model are up to 23 per cent lower than its predecessor's figures. The new Octavia 1,6 TDI/81 kW GreenLine achieves 3.4 l/100 km, reducing CO2 emissions to a mere 89 g/km.

Newly developed engines and reduced vehicle weight are the main contributors to the Škoda Octavia's drastically reduced fuel consumption. Despite its size and higher performance, the third-generation Škoda bestseller is up to 102 kilogrammes lighter than its predecessor. The reduction in weight varies according to its configuration. Consistent lightweight construction, advanced body design, use of hot-worked, highestgrade steel and careful selection of materials have lowered the Octavia's weight, and, at the same time, have made this car safer and more comfortable.

Major components of a car's weight are its electrics, drivetrain, chassis and superstructure, i.e. its body and interior. The Octavia's drivetrain weight has been reduced by up to 40 kg (for details, please see press release "The New Engines: Efficient and Powerful"). The superstructure is up to 30 kg lighter, and the chassis can be up to 26 kg less in weight. An additional 6 kg is saved in electrics.

Lighter body through the use of high-strength steels and a new design
Besides the drivetrain, the key element of the Škoda Octavia's "weight-loss diet" is the body. Even so, Škoda's designers managed to make the car conform to new crash and rigidity requirements. Lightweight and stable - made of nearly 70 per cent high and highest-grade steel - the new Škoda Octavia's body manages to be both. About one fourth of the body, not counting doors and hatches, is made of hot-worked, highestgrade steels. In comparison, the second-generation Octavia included 6.3 per cent hotworked parts.

These highest-grade components are up to six times stiffer than regular deep-drawing steels and up to four times stiffer than conventional high-grade steels. These types of steel are produced by heating to about 950°C, pressing the steel in a red-hot state, and cooling it to 180°C within 5.5 seconds. Components manufactured using this process can be much thinner and thus lighter than in the past while withstanding the same crash impact.

High-grade and highest-grade steels enable Škoda engineers to customise and save materials. Furthermore, improvements have been made to the geometry of the support structure and flat components. In this area, developers have benefited from advancements in virtual development processes: Computer applications help make use of available space with much more precision. For flat components, developers have improved the computation of acoustic properties, save insulation and thus weight in the process.

In their quest for even more savings, developers have helped the Octavia shed more pounds in its interior design. This affects components such as the instrument panel, air conditioning and seats. Together, the body and interior save up to 30 kg.

Lighter chassis through optimized axles
The Octavia's improved chassis saves up to 26 kg. The torsion beam axle weighs 38 kg, which is 15 kg less than the Octavia's rear axle used thus far. Its cross-section has an open underside with welded inlay sheets welded in on its outer ends. The two inlay sheets are different in length, achieving differing torsion rates. This enabled engineers to achieve optimum rolling properties for the profile and a high degree of lateral rigidity. Compared with a welded tubular stabilizer, this design is significantly lighter. Thanks to high-tensile steel and innovative design processes, the new torsion beam axle is stiffer than axles of this type have been thus far.

The rear multilink axle was also designed for excellent comfort and handling. On this axle type, specific improvements were made in kinematics, acoustics, weight, and modular design. The basic design principle with its consistent separation of longitudinal and lateral rigidity applies just as before. The axle's weight was reduced from 53 kg to 49 kg through the use of high-grade steels and structural improvements to a number of components. The rear multilink axle's low lateral rigidity was maintained through the trailing arm's soft axle guidance bearing, which is key for increased driving comfort. Škoda's engineers also improved the axle's lateral rigidity necessary for steering behaviour with a new setup in the track rod bearings. Eccentric screws on the spring control arm and transversal upper arm permit individual adjustments of camber and wheel track values for each vehicle type. The tubular stabilizer and shock absorbers are now connected via the spring control arm. This reduces forces within the axle and leads to significant package advantages.

The front of the new Škoda Octavia includes a MacPherson front axle (struts) with a newly designed, lower triangular wishbone suspension. The functionality, weight, and cost of each component have been consistently optimized. Weight savings are achieved through the use of high-tensile steel on the transversal arm and an innovative bionic design on the swivel bearing. Located at the centre of the front axle, the subframe is designed for maximum lateral rigidity. In addition to front axle components, this frame also houses the steering and parts of the engine mount. For the combined use with 16-inch brakes, a new, lighter aluminium transversal arm was developed. The redesigned front axle saved a total of 2.8 kg.

Škoda Octavia: the Heart of the Brand
The Octavia is Škoda's basis for success. The car has been key to the brand's success over the last two decades in the Czech Republic as well as in international markets. In 2012, the Octavia made up roughly 44 per cent of all Škoda deliveries (as at the end of November 2012).

The Octavia is the first completely new model Škoda's has developed since the fall of the Iron Curtain and after the brand joined forces with Volkswagen. Ever since 1996, the Octavia has been at the forefront of fast-paced developments within the company which has grown from a national manufacturer serving Central and Eastern Europe to an international player. More than 3.7 million Octavias have been sold worldwide from 1996 through November 2012 —about 41 per cent of the company's total sales in this period. That makes the Octavia the undisputed best seller in the company's 117-year history.

"With the introduction of the Octavia in 1996, the brand started a new major growth phase," says Škoda Chairman Winfried Vahland. "Our successes today would not be possible without the Octavia. This car gave Škoda the decisive boost, and, for the last 17 years, it has been the embodiment and the heart of the Škoda brand. The Octavia embodies the brand's values and always offers a little more: timelessly elegant design, above-average interior space, more functionality, many 'Simply Clever' details, proven modern technology, quality, and precision, and—last but not least—an unmatched pricevalue ratio. Also, rather than focusing on what is technically feasible, at Škoda, customer needs always come first. We felt that it was our obligation to improve the third generation even more. The result is another class of its own: the best Octavia of all times."

Since its launch in the fall of 1996, the Octavia has proven its worth through its versatility, functionality, roominess, fuel-economy, timeless design and unmatched value. What began with a regular liftback design has gradually developed into one of the world's most successful model series. With the third-generation, the Czech manufacturer aims to continue the success of the model in the coming years.

First-generation Octavia - 1996 through 2010
When the new Octavia celebrated its world premiere at the "Mondial de l'Automobile" in October 1996, experts and car buffs looked to Paris with suspense. This event marked Škoda's sensational return to the so-called A segment after more than half a century. The new Octavia was also Škoda's first completely new development since joining forces with Volkswagen and the fall of the Iron Curtain: a milestone for Škoda and a clear signal that the brand had indeed returned.

And they had done so with force. From the get-go, the new saloon in the upper compact class was a favorite with critics and customers: state-of-the-art technology, ample room for passengers and luggage, highest quality, excellent value and timeless design. Rave reviews followed.

The search for a name for the new model returned a winner from Škoda's own model history. From 1959 to 1971, the company built a car by the name Octavia - a spacious two-door sedan as well as a station wagon. This was a vehicle with plenty of room and new technology at the time. The name Octavia is based on the Latin word for the number eight: "octo" and refers to the fact that this historic Octavia was the eighth Škoda model after World War II.

Demand for the Octavia of the "modern era" rose quickly. In the first full year of sales alone, in 1997, 47,900 Octavias were sold, and within a year, the sales figures more than doubled to over 100,000 vehicles.

Right from the beginning, the Octavia set standards in its segment thanks to its generous interior space. The medium-class-like interior and exterior dimensions helped, as did a wheel base of 2,508 mm.

This car, designed by Škoda's then chief designer Dirk van Braeckel, impressed with its timeless design. The Octavia's taut and rather angular shapes as well as its large radiator grille became a familiar sight on the streets in the 1990s.

The first Škoda vehicle based on the modern PQ34 Group platform, the Octavia I also introduced new engines and modern technology: Among other options, customers were able to choose between automatic, all-wheel drive and six-speed transmission. And state-of-the-art safety features, such as ESP, ASR or ABS, were included as well. More and more engines were added to the selection. For the first time in its history, Škoda offered turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.

Inspired by its major success, Škoda began expanding the Octavia series. In the summer of 1998, the company added an estate. In 1999, the all-wheel Octavia 4×4 entered the market. In 2000, the Octavia received a facelift and new engines. In addition, the company introduced a sporty version called RS, a reference to the brand's successful rally sport tradition.

The car was so popular that the company continued building and selling it under the name Octavia Tour until late 2010, even after the model change. In November 2010, the last car left the plant in Vrchlabí. From 1996 to 2010, Škoda sold a total of 1.45 million Octavia I.

Octavia II - 2004 through 2012
The second-generation Octavia continued its predecessor's success story. Introduced in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2004, the successor shone with fresh design, more interior and boot space and state-of-the-art technology. "The new Octavia was a completely new design. Its name, design and overall structure are a link to its predecessor," read the press kit at the Geneva Motor Show.

The new model included petrol engines with direct injection. Among other options, customers had a choice between a six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, and, for the first time, a DSG double-clutch gearbox. The new rear multilink axle made for higher driving comfort.

Larger dimensions and a longer wheel base significantly improved the space in the interior as well as in the boot. Customers were offered a choice of a variety of options: from a dual-zone Climatronic air conditioning unit to tyre pressure monitoring. Safety features included standard ABS with braking assistant (in Europe), four airbags, and new, active headrests.

The new Octavia was an instant hit. Soon after its launch, Europe's largest Sunday paper, "Bild am Sonntag", awarded the Octavia its prestigious "Golden Steering Wheel". Step by step, the company expanded its new model series over the years that followed. In January 2005, the Octavia Combi was launched, followed by the Octavia RS in 2006 and in 2007 the Scout model.

The company pushed its internationalization strategy with the second-generation Octavia. In 2005, the first Octavias were manufactured at Aurangabad in India. Shanghai Volkswagen's plant began manufacturing the Octavia for China in 2007. And Volkswagen's plant at Kaluga, Russia, has been manufacturing the Octavia since 2009. In 2011, nearly 38 per cent of all Octavia sales worldwide went to countries outside of Europe. To date, Škoda has sold about 2.3 million second-generation Octavias.

The Octavia also became a technology showcase. In 2009, the fuel-efficient GreenLine models were launched, featuring a standard start-stop system, recuperation, and tyres with low rolling resistance. In the fall of 2010, Škoda presented the Octavia Green E Line, a pilot for the brand's first electric car. Since early 2012, a total of ten vehicles have been used for test purposes with external partners, some at Prague Castle.


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