The Scala also features an all-new interior, with new materials throughout including microfibre fabric for the seats and soft foam surfaces for the dashboard trim. The freestanding touchscreen infotainment system can be paired with an optional 10.25in virtual cockpit display in place of traditional instruments, and uses the latest generation software - a first across the entire VW group. The main touchscreen sits on a small ‘shelf’ for people to brace their hands while operating it.
It will become the first VW group car to be always-connected, with the ability to update over the air and download apps that widen the infotainment system's abilities. It will also be among the very first cars with wireless support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, albeit as an option rather than standard equipment. Head of marketing Alain Faey called the Scala a "benchmark in infotainment and productivity", one that would set the trend for the Volkswagen group rather than follow by example.
The five-seat Scala is 4362mm long, making it marginally longer than the outgoing Rapid Spaceback, with larger 2649mm wheelbase allows for increased legroom. At 467 litres, Skoda also says the Scala has the largest boot in the segment. An optional electric tailgate also features.
Other trademark Skoda touches, including an umbrella compartment in the driver’s door and ice scraper in the fuel filler cap that doubles as a tyre tread depth gauge, make a return.
In the UK, four engines will be offered at launch: two 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrols with 94bhp or 113bhp, a 1.5-litre, 148bhp four-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre, 114bhp diesel. All will be powered through five- or six-speed manuals, or a seven-speed DSG automatic. There are currently no plans to introduce the plug-in hybrid powertrain previewed by the Vision RS concept.
An optional sport chassis will ride 15mm lower than the standard car and include four user-adjustable drive modes for a more responsive throttle and steering.