New Skoda Octavia production begins
Skoda Auto India has started making the all-new Octavia at their facility in Shendra, Aurangabad. The first example made is a fully-loaded, top-spec Laurin & Klement version finished in Lava Blue. The new Skoda Octavia is slated to be launched at the end of April. It will be offered with a single 2-litre turbo-petrol engine with a DCT transmission.
The new Octavia is one of four models Skoda plans to launch this year, after its global debut in 2019, the Octavia was expected to launch in 2020 but the pandemic pushed its launch to this year. Based on VW group's MQB platform, the fourth generation Octavia gets design updates that make it far sleeker than before. The new Octavia is also longer and wider and hence has more space on the inside. It will be powered by the 2-litre TSI engine that produces a healthy 188bhp and is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There will be no diesels on offer as they no longer provide a business case for Skoda in India.
The Octavia gets a completely new cabin inside, with a new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a two-spoke steering wheel. Besides this, it also gets a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad and a three-zone climate control system. The cabin overall is expected to be offered in combination of a black and beige colour scheme. On the safety front, the Octavia sold internationally features nine airbags, collision avoidance assist and adaptive cruise control; it is expected to retain the nine airbags for India. More importantly, it has previously scored a full five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests.
On the start of the new Octavia’s production, Zac Hollis, Brand Director, Skoda Auto India said, "The Skoda Octavia has always offered a compelling combination of the brand's emotive design, exquisite interiors, class leading safety, and intelligent connectivity features, and the all new iteration pushes the yardstick further. A twenty year run, and about a hundred thousand satisfied customers, is a testament to its strong equity among discerning car buyers in a dynamically evolving automotive market like India. With the commencement of production, we also commit to a stronger product portfolio as we look to grow our presence in India. In line with our laser sharp focus on customer centricity, we are also rapidly growing our network presence and have introduced several initiatives to ensure an unmatched ownership experience."
Scheduled to launch later this month, the new Skoda Octavia is expected to be priced around the Rs 17-24 lakh mark. Its sole rival on launch will be the Hyundai Elantra as both the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla Altis have been discontinued. That said, it will likely be the choice of those who aren’t looking to spend more on entry level luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz A Class Limousine and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.