Skoda will unveil the next generation version of its Octavia sales champion later today, giving us our first look at how it's been re-engineered to take on rivals like the Ford Focus and Mazda 3.
Last week, the firm published design sketches that show how the interior has been radically overhauled.
Highlights of the redesign include a new multi-level instrument panel - a first for the Octavia - a reshaped, two-spoke steering wheel, and a free-standing central screen that has been positioned to reflect the recognisable silhouette of the brand's corporate grille design. Elsewhwere, the gear selector has been replaced with a small switch unit, while the Volkswagen Group's Climatronic three-zone air conditioning system makes its Octavia debut.
Skoda claims the new interior offers more space than that of the outgoing Octavia.
The preview came after the recent accidental unveiling of the Octavia's front end design, where an official image was posted to Skoda's website.
Shared to a German Skoda forum, the press shot is said to have been taken from the brand's own configurator before being removed. As expected, we can see the new model takes heavily influence from the larger Skoda Superb, alongside the recently introduced Scala.
The 2020 Octavia ditches the controversial split headlamp design of the current car in favour of single units. These bookend a much larger grille, which brings the car into line with the rest of the range, while the influence of the Superb is clear in a new clamshell bonnet.
The Superb-esque accents are developed in the Octavia’s profile, particularly in the saloon version here. The car has deeper swage lines and more pronounced contours compared with the outgoing model, and an overall look that is more angular. In the estate version, spotted earlier this year in testing, a rear spoiler wraps around the sloping rear window. In both models, the tailgate and tail-light design bears no resemblance to today’s Octavia.