The Skoda Laura will be replaced by a new car next year – the Skoda Octavia (again). Skoda India may choose to bring back the Octavia brand name with the new car that is likely to replace the Laura (which is the 2nd generation European Octavia).
The third generation Octavia that has just been unveiled in Europe is wider and longer than the present Laura, which has translated to more interior space and a car that looks quite luxurious. The new Octavia is based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform. Also read:Skoda cars to become cheaper
The new car has more knee-room, and shoulder-room, because of a longer wheel base of about 108 mm. Length too has increased by about 90 mm. This makes the Octavia almost as big as a Passat and definitely a car that looks like it is from a higher segment. The Octavia / Laura always had good boot space, and this car too gets 590 litres of space with the same lift-back boot (glass and boot integrated).
The instrument console is typically Skoda and continues to have a deep grey finish. The dials are clearly legible as is the multi-information display in the centre. The car also gets a touch-screen infotainment system that doubles up as a parking display. The car will feature cruise control, an optional sunroof and push-button ignition.
The Octavia will come with new engine choices which include a 1.4 TSI (turbo-petrol) putting out 120 bhp. It will also come with a 1.8 turbo-petrol with power increased to 177 bhp from the present 160 bhp. There will also be two diesel engine choices – a smaller 1.6 litre diesel that puts out about 105 bhp and a 2 litre diesel putting out 147 bhp (the present diesel engine with increased power output). These engines will come with a choice of a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual transmission. In India, Skoda is likely to offer the Octavia with a 1.4 TSI petrol and a 2-litre diesel engine only, while it may retain the 1.8 petrol for the RS variant. Also read: Skoda to bring back Octavia brand name to India
Expect the new Octavia to replace the Laura toward the end of 2013, with prices too going up slightly.