Spied: 2014 Skoda Octavia

Skoda’s new third-generation Octavia has been spied in testing for the first time ahead of its world debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

The Octavia will be the first Skoda to switch to Volkswagen Group’s new modular MQB platform that’s also found beneath the new Audi A3, Seat Leon and VW Golf. In differing from those models, the Octavia will get the long-wheelbase version of the MQB structure, meaning the Octavia will grow bigger than ever to around 4.8 metres in length in the process.

The Octavia is being made bigger to give the new £12,900 Rapid (a car the size of the original Octavia) room to breathe in Skoda’s expanded line-up.

The increase in size will also mean a small increase in price, although the Octavia will continue to offer considerably more space for similar money than rivals in the Golf class.

While the entry-level price will only increase marginally, sources have confirmed there will be “more upmarket” versions of the Octavia launched with plusher interiors.

The new Octavia will retain its saloon shape but keep its five-door hatchback layout, rather than adopting a conventional boot or a split tailgate system from the larger Superb.

MQB underpinnings should also mean a reduction in weight for the Octavia, despite the increase in size.

Engines will be shared with the VW Golf, with the staple engines likely to be a 138bhp 1.4 TSI petrol and a 104bhp 1.6 TDI diesel.

A vRS version, likely to have around 220bhp from a 2.0 TSI, is set to be revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next summer.

Skoda is also set to launch a seven-seat SUV in the near future, most likely a longer wheelbase version of the Yeti. Skoda boss Winfried Vahland said to Autocar that he believed “an MPV did fit well with the Skoda brand”, but “society is changing its preference more towards SUVs than conventional MPVs and a seven-seater SUV could make much more sense”.

Thanks to: Autocar


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