2020 Škoda Octavia debuts plug-in hybrid drive

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Škoda’s fourth-generation Octavia will introduce two plug-in hybrids when it arrives mid-2020; part of an increased focus on alternative powertrains as well as new technologies.

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Revealed last night at a world premiere event in Prague, the new model – again available in hatch and estate styles – is larger than before. The hatch is 19mm longer than the third-gen model, with an extra 22mm length for the estate while both are 15mm wider. As a result, the estate’s boot capacity, which is the largest in the segment, has increased by 30 litres to 640 while the hatchback has a capacity of 600 litres – 10 litres more than the previous generation.

The new Octavia also gets a wider array of engines, including the model’s debut plug-in hybrid which, hard on the heels of the facelifted Superb, also adopts the iV branding. Two PHEV variants will be offered – 204hp and 245hp – both of which are expected to find particular favour with fleets. CO2 and fuel data is yet to be published but the lower-power version features a 1.4 TSI petrol engine and an electric motor along with a 13kWh lithium-ion battery, giving up to 55km of electric-only range (WLTP rated).

The line-up will also see latest EVO-generation 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI petrol engines married up with mild hybrid technology when equipped with the DSG gearbox. Branded as eTEC, these use a 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery to recover brake energy, support the combustion engine by providing it with an electric boost, and to coast with the engine completely switched off.

The range also includes a 2.0-litre diesel in three states of tune – 110, 150 and 200hp – and emitting up to 80% less nitrogen oxide, thanks to the application of a new ‘twin dosing’ method of exhaust gas treatment. Depending on the market, the line-up also includes a natural gas-powered (CNG) variant, the Octavia G-TEC.

There is a choice of four chassis variants, including Dynamic Chassis Control with Driving Mode Select, the option of all-wheel drive and manual or DSG transmissions.

Other new technologies making their debut include shift-by-wire technology for the DSG, which saves space, while the optional head-up display is another first for a Škoda along with tri-zone climatronic.

The interior features an 8.25-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or MirrorLink compatibility as standard, with some trims offering a 10-inch touchscreen, while the Octavia also gets an in-built eSIM, bringing access to the latest ŠKODA Connect mobile online services. The revised interior also introduces new soft-touch materials, ambient LED lighting and, as an option, “back-friendly” Ergo seats that include an electric massage function.

New safety systems such as Collision Avoidance Assist, Turn Assist, Exit Warning and the local Traffic Warning function also debut, as well as Area View, Side Assist and Predictive Cruise Control, which – together with the updated version of Traffic Sign Recognition and the further improved Lane Assist, as well as Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist – forms the Travel Assist system. Using Hands-on Detect, this system also checks whether the driver is touching the steering wheel consistently. Full LED matrix headlights and LED tail lights are also available as an option.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Škoda without the brand’s ‘Simply Clever’ features, which now also include a convenient filler tube for AdBlue, enabling it to be filled up using a lorry pump nozzle too, plus an integrated funnel in the windscreen washer tank. The Octavia also gets a storage compartment with an umbrella and hand brush in the front doors, two smartphone storage pockets on the front seatbacks and retractable sun blinds for the rear side windows, along with a multifunction storage pocket below the boot cover in both the hatchback and the estate; the latter will also feature an automatically retractable load cover.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.