The new Skoda Octavia will be pitted against the Hyundai Elantra in a rapidly diminishing segment
The all-new Skoda Octavia which has been sale in Europe for quite some time now is set to be launched in India in Q2 2021. Responding to a Twitter user’s query, Zac Hollis, Director of sales, service and marketing at Skoda India, confirmed the launch timeline for the D-Segment sedan. If it was not for the COVID-19 crisis, the new Octavia would have been launched last year.
New Skoda Octavia at a glance
The previous generation Octavia did not receive the BS6 emission updates and hence has not been on sale in the country since early 2020. It has now been spied near Pune by automotive enthusiast Rupesh. The spy shots shows the sedan being attached with emission testing equipment. It is likely that the car is being tested by ARAI for homologation.
Though the Skoda Octavia caters to a rapidly diminishing sub-segment in the country’s mid-premium space, the nameplate enjoys a good brand recall and a sizable fan following. Based on the updated version of the VW Group’s MQB platform, the new Skoda Octavia features a sophisticated yet understated exterior styling. It is longer and wider than its predecessor and offers roomier cabin and trunk.
The most significant improvement, however, comes in the form of the fresh interior which is equipped with virtual cockpit (configurable colour TFT instrument console), a full-fledged touchscreen infotainment system, multiple airbags, three-zone climate control and several other premium features.
The new Skoda Octavia for India will be available with the 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged direct injection petrol engine which is pumps out 190 hp. The motor is mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic unit which drives the front wheels.
It remains to be seen if Skoda will introduce a base engine to arrive at a competitive entry price point. The 1.5-liter TSI motor with a 6-speed MT is a viable candidate for a range starter. This combination will also be available on the upcoming Vision IN compact crossover and its VW sibling, the Taigun.
This niche segment has been witnessing high level of attrition recently as Toyota Corolla Altis and Honda Civic have been discontinued. When launched, the new Skoda Octavia will only have the Hyundai Elantra as its direct rival. With a modern design, well equipped interior and proven engines, the new Octavia is expected to have a significant edge over the competition.
Skoda India is also working on a new sedan that will replace the Rapid. To be underpinned by the MQB A0 IN platform, the new sedan in question is confirmed to be larger than the Rapid. It is slated for launch towards the end of 2021.