Skoda will launch its new Octavia at the 2013 Geneva motor show – and these new spy photos give a flavour of what we can expect from the Czech family car.
With the new Rapid plugging the Golf/Focus gap in Skoda's range and the Superb continuing to offer voluminous family transport, the Octavia remains in a very similar slice of the market to before. Expect five-door hatch and estate bodystyles, with the option of four-wheel drive Scout models to follow.
Skoda Octavia: 2013's new family car
The Octavia hatch arrives first and we should see this at the 2013 Geneva motor show; CAR's sources suggest the wagon will follow around June 2013 time.
Like almost all future Skodas, the Octavia is derived from the VW group's MQB platform which is super-flexible, can be easily 'decontented' for budget models and is fit to be produced in all assembly plants globally. Skoda engineers reckon it cuts the Octavia's build time by 30% and costs by 20%.
The MQB architecture's wheelbase is very flexible; it'll underpin 2014's new Fabia (2500mm wheelbase) all the way up to the new Octavia's (2650mm) and beyond for the next Superb.
The toys in the new Skoda
Technology is where Skoda really benefits from its parents' spending power. Microhybrids, plug-in hybrids, electromobility and CNG and LPG engines are all available to the Czech bargain brand thanks to the VW connection. We hear the four existing sub-brands will continue: RS (sporty), Greenline (eco), Scout (crossover) and Laurin & Klement (luxury).
The new Octavia isn't the only new Skoda coming in 2013. Other debutants are a Rapid estate – dubbed Spaceback by insiders – and the Superb duo are due for a facelift.
Skoda: the future business plan
By 2018, the global output is scheduled to soar to 1.5m vehicles, roughly double where it is today. 'Where Skoda is strong, the economic crisis has not yet done much damage,' a beaming chief exec Winfried Vahland tells CAR. 'And if the downswing does happen, we feel well protected thanks to our range of high-quality and high-value products. We do want to expand, but growth is not automatically profitable - that´s why Skoda has no interest in selling cars in North-America.'
Asked for the secret to success, the CEO answers like a shot: 'Product! Our model range is getting more attractive every year. As trend-setting segment-busters, we shall continue to offer more product for less money.'