Return of the high-octane Octavia
By Ammar Alvi | Published: 18th August 2013 12:00 AM |
After delighting Indian consumers for many years with its marvelous technology, superb comfort and driving pleasure, Czech auto giant Skoda is once again ready to give the Octavia fans a reason to smile. The company recently unveiled the latest generation Octavia that will hit the roads in September. The big question; will it have the same magic as that of the predecessor? Ammar Alvi finds out.
The first one impressed the Indian auto consumers when it was first launched 12 years ago; in fact, it created quite a stir and was a hot seller. Skoda is back to continue from where it left by bringing in its latest generation of Octavia which hopes to set a new benchmark in the entry level premium car segment.
According to the company, the third generation is the largest, most practical, safest, most comfortable and environmental-friendly Octavia ever. The Octavia boasts of unrivalled space, a timeless and elegant design, high functionality, innovative safety and comfort systems, economical consumption and good value for money. The car offers mid-class qualities for the price of a compact car.
Sudhir Rao, managing director, Skoda Auto India, said, “The ‘Octavia’ model line launched Skoda in the country 12 years ago and has enjoyed a cult status in India ever since. The Octavia instantly became a game changer in the segment and revolutionised the Indian automotive industry. Since then Skoda has come a long way in the Indian market and the Octavia has always been the heart of our brand. Now, with the new-generation Octavia, which will be introduced in India during the festival season, we promise all of this and much more.”
With the launch of the new Octavia, the Czech car maker in India follows on from the success of the first-generation Octavia. Between November 2001 and October 2010, the Octavia inspired Indian customers and 44,900 Octavias were bought during this period alone.
The new Octavia is being produced at the Indian Skoda factory in Aurangabad, where the Superb, Yeti and Laura are already being manufactured. The Octavia is a key product in the largest model campaign in Skoda’s corporate history. This campaign lights the way as the manufacturer continues on its path to growth. The ultimate aim of this growth strategy is to increase annual sales worldwide to at least 1.5 million vehicles per year.
The car is based on the Volkswagen Group’s much-acclaimed MQB platform which allows for increase in both length and width. The new Octavia has grown in size; it is 90mm longer and 45mm wider than its predecessor. In fact, its wheelbase is just short of the Passat’s which translates into a lot more room to move about inside. The interior is typically high quality with a lot of attention to detail. The car sports features like automatic high beam headlights, automatic lane guidance, an emergency city braking system and adaptive drive modes making it a very safe and technologically superior vehicle.
The new Octavia range in India is likely to continue with the same engines already doing duty in the present Laura and Jetta models which is the 1.8 TSI petrol and 2.0 TDI diesel but we might expect a smaller 1.4 TSI petrol also. Still no word on the price but expect it to be at a starting range of `13 lakh.