PLUG-IN GENERATION: New hybrid version of taxi driver favourite Skoda Octavia released

Skoda have released the fourth generation PLUG-IN version of the cabbie's favourite Octavia at the Trade Fair Palace in the Czech capital.

The latest generation of the Octavia launched yesterday is instantly recognisable and builds on the third generation’s design to look more dynamic and current.

Full LED Matrix headlights will light up your way, while the traditional C-shaped signature tail lights are enhanced by dynamic indicators.

The new Octavia is the first Skoda to feature a head-up display. Another innovation is the DSG automatic transmission with a shift-by-wire system, which has made it possible to replace the selector lever with a small control module. This has fundamentally altered the way the centre console looks.

The multifunction two-spoke steering wheel has also never been seen before. On-board entertainment is provided by third-generation infotainment systems, with the top-of-the-range version offering a 10-inch all-glass display. Efficient climate control is in the hands of the three-zone automatic air-conditioning.

New safety features are another important area. It is the first Skoda model, for example, to offer Collision-Avoidance Assist, designed to make evasive steering around a sudden obstacle easier and more precise; Turn Assist, making left turns even safer (in left-hand-drive cars); and Exit Warning, alerting you if opening the door could cause a collision with a passing car or a cyclist. Another new feature, Local Traffic Information, can warn you about traffic risks on the road. The system can alert you, for example, to black ice on the road or to obstructions.

Cabbies around the UK will also be delighted to hear that the all-new Octavia has also maintained and enhanced its practicality. It's already impressive boot volume has grown by 30 litres to total 640 litres in the estate version, while the liftback now accommodates 600 litres, up 10 litres on the previous generation.

The Octavia is now available as a plug-in hybrid, which will be music to the ears of some cabbies in authorities making greener regulation changes.

Following in the footsteps of the Skoda Superb iV, the Octavia iV is the second Skoda model to be available as a plug-in hybrid. This powertrain features a 1.4 TSI petrol engine delivering 115 kW (156 PS) and a 75-kW electric motor. Together, they produce a total power output of 150 kW (204 PS) and have a maximum torque of 350 Nm.

The plug-in-hybrid variant has been equipped with a 6-speed DSG. With a capacity of 37 Ah providing 13 kWh, the high-voltage lithium-ion battery allows for an electric range of up to 55 km in the WLTP cycle. The battery can be recharged conveniently at home from a standard household socket or wall box; the connector for charging the battery is hidden behind a flap in the wing on the driver’s side, which can be opened at the push of a button in the door trim.

Other differences between the Octavia iV and the variants that are driven solely by a combustion engine include a slightly smaller petrol tank (40 l instead of 45 l), the iV badge on the tailgate and the 10-inch central screen with an iV welcome logo and model-specific displays.

Away from the hybrid, there is still plenty to choose from under the new Octavia’s bonnet. Besides the enhanced petrol engines, which can be equipped with mild hybrid technology (mHEV) and new-generation Evo diesel engines, there is also a compressed natural gas (CNG) drive.

Oliver Stefani, Skoda’s Head of Design, says: “The Octavia’s core values have always been functionality, practicality, elegance and timeless design. In the new generation, we have focused on placing even more of an accent on ‘design’ as an established value. The all-new Octavia is more dynamic and emotionally charged than ever, yet remains functional and practical. We have managed to combine these aspects very effectively and I am sure that customers will love it.”

The driver and passengers will feel pampered in the brand new interior. “The spacious and airy interior comes with all-new architecture, but remains faithful to the typical Skoda line, which perfectly combines functionality and aesthetics. The dashboard shape has been inspired by the characteristic face of Skoda cars and incorporates support for the hand so that it is easier for the driver to control the free-standing display,” says Oliver Stefani.

Image credits: Skoda

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