Along with the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, and the SEAT Leon, the Octavia was part of VW Group’s first wave of MQB cars. Some seven years have passed since then, so time has almost come for the next installment in the series of compact cars riding on the Modularer Querbaukasten platform. The Golf VIII will receive its world premiere at some point in October, and we’ve just learned that the hatchback's Czech cousin is going to be unveiled on November 11 in Prague.
Rather than bringing it to the Frankfurt Motor Show to share the spotlight with the 2020 Superb, electric Citigo, and two new Monte Carlo models, Skoda has decided to organize a standalone event for the fourth generation of its most successful car ever. Just in time to celebrate the nameplate’s 60th anniversary, the new Octavia will be pushed upmarket in a bid to avoid the risk of overlap now that Skoda has the Scala as a fancier replacement for the mundane Rapid.
Gallery: 2020 Skoda Octavia Combi new spy photos
The Octavia is already one of the largest models in its class, but the new one is expected to grow yet again to further accentuate the company’s focus on rear legroom and cargo capacity. Exterior styling will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but we’re happy to report the split headlights will become of a thing of the past. Indeed, spy shots of prototypes have revealed the Octavia IV will revert to conventional front lights to create a front fascia that’ll likely be similar to the Superb’s recent subtle nose job.
At the back, both the liftback and the wagon will have wider taillights extending onto the tailgate for the first time in the history of the modern Octavia. As with recent models from Mladá Boleslav, the corporate badge at the rear will be replaced with the “SKODA” lettering in a rather questionable design decision that was first seen last year in the China-only Kodiaq GT.
While the exterior won’t be all that different compared to today’s model, the cabin will be going through some major changes as evidenced in recent spy images. Like it or not, the Octavia will get an infotainment system shaped like a tablet sticking out from the center console. An electronic parking brake, a two-spoke steering wheel, and an upgraded digital instrument cluster have all been spotted in test vehicles to confirm Skoda’s decision to develop an upscale Octavia.
We’ll learn about the oily bits at the Golf VIII’s reveal, but we’re expecting at least the 1.5 TSI and 2.0 TSI gasoline engines, 2.0 TDI diesel, mild-hybrid tech, and a future plug-in hybrid derivative with a powertrain shared with the new Golf GTE and SEAT Leon PHEV. An Octavia RS will spice up the range once more, and it might go down the hybrid route to boost performance while cutting fuel consumption. We’re keeping our fingers crossed Skoda will develop a new Octavia Scout as the lifted wagon would be the pick of the range for us.