Although SKODA has since disappeared from the domestic Automotive scene, the former East European marque continues to produce fascinating models the world over. Several models have made headlines during its tenure in Malaysia; the Fabia, Octavia and Superb. SKODA recently announced the latest Octavia line-up for 2017, featured with new interior offerings and a new high-tech, three-cylinder turbo petrol engine.
SKODA Octavia’s overall package has always provided a little bit ‘more car’ than its competitors by offering generous amounts of space and combining the elegant hatchback shape with a large tailgate. It offers exemplary interior space, rear legroom and headroom in the compact car segment. Both the Hatch and the Estate boast the largest boot within their class. In the 2017 Octavia, the new offerings include Climatronic with allergen filter, rear-view camera (optional), umbrella under the front passenger seat (optional) and iPads mounts on the front seats’ backrests.
One of the highlights inside the new Octavia is the infotainment systems, which are part of the second-generation Modular Infotainment Matrix (MIB II). Wi-Fi has been added to the Amundsen infotainment navigation system and some of the system’s functions can be controlled using SKODA’s Media Command app on a tablet or smartphone. With new features, the infotainment system becomes even more extensive in the 2017 models. The optional Phonebox with wireless charging connects a smartphone to the car antenna by near-field coupling without the need for a cable, thus offering high call quality and best data reception. At the same time, it charges the smartphone inductively in accordance with the Qi standard, provided that the phone is technically compatible.
A turbo-charged, three-cylinder petrol engine has replaced the 1.2-liter, four-cylinder version. From its engine size of 999cc, the new 1.0 TSI produces 115 PS and provides 200 Nm of torque between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm. The first three-cylinder engine in the history of the Octavia has sophisticated acoustics and enables a driving performance that surpasses its predecessor.
In combination with 7-speed DSG, the new 1.0 TSI accelerates the Octavia hatchback from 0- 100km/h in 9.9 seconds and achieves a top speed of 202 km/h. Combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox, 100km/h can be achieved in just 9.6 seconds. The ŠKODA Octavia Estate is also available with 7-speed DSG or a manual gearbox; with a 199km/h top speed and 10.1 second or 9.8 second 0-100km/h time respectively. The biggest improvement, however, is to the new three-cylinder TSI’s fuel consumption, which is 8 per cent lower than that of the previous engine. An optional aero package which further increases efficiency includes a lowered sport chassis, active air flaps, a tailgate or roof spoiler for further improved air flow and low rolling resistance tyres.
In addition, the new 1.0 TSI in the Octavia is state of the art in all aspects of technology. Its compact construction and aluminium crankcase mean the three-cylinder engine weighs just 78 kg. Its aluminium pistons and the forged connecting rods are balanced accurately, enabling quiet and smooth running even without the presence of a balancing shaft. To improve the charge cycle, the inlet and exhaust camshafts can be adjusted by up to 50 and 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation respectively. The common rail system injects the fuel with up to 250 bar of pressure. The turbocharger’s intercooler is integrated into the induction tract, instantly increasing the boost pressure which can reach up to 1.6 bar (relatively).
For the 2017 model year, SKODA is offering adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) for Octavias with engines of a power output from 150 PS and above. This provides a more varied driving experience – DCC makes it possible to adapt the steering and suspension depending on whether the Comfort, Normal or Sport mode has been selected. DCC is also available in the SKODA Octavia vRS and Octavia vRS 230, where its functions include a more comfortable set-up for everyday driving at the push of a button.
An electronic valve controls the flow of oil within the DCC shock absorbers and a fast control unit operates the valve depending on the road condition, the driver’s driving style and the selected mode. A large cross section allows the car to ride comfortably; a small cross section enables the car to hold the road more precisely: the steering reacts even more accurately, braking characteristics are improved and body roll is minimalised. DCC also contributes to active safety: the system automatically switches from Comfort mode to Sport mode in hazardous situations and, in doing so, provides higher stability, better tyre grip and shorter braking distances.