Skoda has finally ended the tease and unveiled what the Australian market will welcome as the 2021 Octavia, with its local debut set for the first quarter of that year.
The new Octavia has grown significantly beyond the dimensions of its predecessor: the liftback is 19mm longer than before and the wagon has been stretched by 22mm, while both models are 15mm wider than those they replace. The wheelbase of the previous model (2686mm) carries over.
A bigger exterior means more space inside. The boot of the wagon has grown by 30L to 640L, while the liftback has 10 litres more space in its 600L boot.
Skoda also says rear knee room has improved by 78mm, while the wider body should liberate more shoulder room in both rows. Up front, the driver and passenger sit in new 'ergo' seats designed to better support achey backs.
There's a raft of 'Simply Clever' touches scattered around the cabin, including smartphone-sized pockets in the seat backs, sun shades on the rear windows and, of course, in-door umbrellas.
The biggest changes to the cabin come on the dashboard, home to an 8.25-inch or 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, below which sits a small row of shortcut buttons.
The driver is faced with Skoda's latest 10.25-inch digital cockpit – although it's an option in Europe. Depending on the model, Skoda has outfitted the cabin with up to five USB-C ports, and can be had with a head-up display.
Wireless phone charging is on hand, too. Behind the wireless phone charger is a compact, electronic shifter for the dual-clutch transmission.
Skoda is also keen to highlight the car's new two-spoke steering wheel, although a three-spoke sports wheel is also available.
Power in the Octavia line-up will come from a range of petrol, diesel, compressed natural gas, plug-in and mild hybrid powertrains. Petrol engines ranging from 1.0- to 2.0-litres, and with outputs ranging from 81kW/200Nm to 140kW/320Nm.
Diesel power is provided by 2.0-litre turbocharged engines with outputs ranging from 85kW/250Nm to 147kW/400Nm, while mild hybrid tech has been applied to a 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The plug-in hybrid is based on a 1.4-litre petrol engine, and outputs a combined 150kW and 350Nm. Four chassis options are offered, from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive with an active suspension setup.
When will the new Skoda Octavia launch in Australia?
Skoda Australia has indicated the 2020 Octavia will be arriving Down Under during the first quarter of 2021.
A spokesperson told CarAdvice in March that production for the next-gen liftback and wagon starts for our market late next year.
Given the Volkswagen Group has previously claimed to be unable to introduce PPF-equipped petrol models due to Australia's sulphur-rich petrol, it's a strong possibility the new 48V mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants will not be offered Down Under, at least from launch.
It's also unlikely we'll see any of the diesels introduced to our market, given Skoda and parent Volkswagen have pulled numerous oiler versions of various model lines of late from sale.
With that in mind, it's likely the Octavia range in Australia will launch with the current model's 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine making 110kW, followed by the more powerful RS models.