Since the launch of its slightly smaller Rapid model in the late European summer, pictures of camouflaged prototypes and unmarked cars with taped-over badges have been captured and "scooped" by eagle-eyed car fans and journalists, each blurry shot purporting to be of the "new Octavia".
Despite already saying that the new car is due for public release at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Skoda has obviously been so miffed by the sometimes blurry pics and illustrations that it has decided to let the cat out of the bag and give us the dinkum oil on its staple car range with some decent photographs to go with it.
The 2013 Octavia is the second Skoda model after the Rapid model to make use of the VW Group's new MQB platform that underpins several other compact cars, most notably the VW Golf Mk7 and the latest Audi A3 hatchbacks.
Compared to the model it replaces, the new Octavia is 90mm longer at 4659mm, and 45mm wider at 1814mm, and more importantly, sitting on a wheelbase that's now 2686mm, 108mm longer than before, all of which should benefit leg and shoulder space.
The car's head room has increased by 8mm, while cabin width in the front is up by 39mm and in the rear by 26mm.
Skoda says the new Octavia has a class-leading interior space in its compact car segment with the interior cabin length measuring 1782mm and the boot volume offering 590 litres of load space.
The new Octavia Mk3 will make it to the European market next year with a selection of eight turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. These include a 1.4-litre TSI petrol delivering 90kW, a 1.8-litre TSI petrol producing 132kW, and a 1.6-litre TDI, which in GreenLine or Eco trim generates 81kW returning 3.4L/100km and CO2 emissions of 89g/km.
Skoda says six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG transmissions will be available, with all-wheel-drive and station wagon and "Scout" lifestyle variants.
A performance RS version fitted with the same 180kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the next VW Golf GTI will follow late next year as well.
The new Octavia will be introduced to the public at next year's Geneva Motor Show in March and should reach New Zealand before the end of 2013.
- The Dominion Post
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