Night spy footage is showing Skoda's best-selling model is getting ready for a mid-cycle refresh.
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[update] New video added at the end of the article. It seems to confirm the rumor about the "split headlamp" design.
The folks from Auto.cz have received from a reader a short spy video with a Skoda Octavia facelift prototype while undergoing testing on Saturday night on the D11 motorway in Czech Republic. Although not exactly the most revealing clip out there, we are able to spot some novelties on this thinly disguised Octavia Combi test vehicle.
For starters, the taillights have received new graphics with a more prominent “C” lighting motif. The license plate illumination appears to use LEDs, while the light in the driver's side mirror indicates the presence of a blind spot detection system as seen in the Superb. Much like in Skoda’s flagship model, the driver aid is going to be offered as optional equipment and will prove to be useful whenever changing lanes.
The headlights look rather peculiar (and cheap we might add) and appear to be partially camouflaged. That’s likely because the facelifted Octavia is rumored to make the switch to a “split headlamp” design, but with a different cluster arrangement than the recently introduced Kodiaq seven-seat SUV. It remains to be seen whether the mid-cycle refresh will bring a switch from the optional bi-xenon headlights (with LED daytime running lights) to a full-LED setup.
As far as the interior is concerned, the biggest change will be the adoption of a new infotainment system borrowed from the Kodiaq with touch-sensitive buttons. An optional heated steering wheel has already been confirmed by Skoda Ireland and there will likely be other minor changes to the trim and upholstery options to freshen up Skoda’s most important model.
In terms of engines, these will be largely carried over from the current 2017MY car, although the 1.8 TSI might be dropped to make room for a de-tuned 2.0 TSI with the same 180 horsepower, but with improved fuel economy. We will know this for sure in the coming days since Seat is expected to introduce in Paris the facelifted Leon, which is basically the Octavia’s Spanish counterpart. A new version of the entry-level, three-cylinder 1.0 TSI might be added as well later in 2017.
Reports coming from Czech Republic are indicating Skoda will reveal the facelifted Octavia as early as next month, with the order books to open in its domestic market on November 1 for the Active, Ambition, Style, and L&K trim levels. However, production is not due to begin until February 6 next year, while the Scout and vRS trims will hit the assembly line on April 24. Starting with May 29, the range-topping vRS 245 will enter production with an extra 15 hp over the current RS 230 flagship, but still a lot less than the 290-hp Seat Leon Cupra 290.
Let’s not forget that VW has plans to retire the 1.4 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines to make room for new 1.5-liter gasoline and diesel units. These will be evolutions of the existing mills and will bring a boost in fuel economy and will debut on the facelifted Golf at some point in 2017, with other members of the VAG family to get them later on.
Meanwhile, Skoda is now focusing on the Kodiaq’s public debut at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show.
Note: 2017 Skoda Octavia facelift render by Tobias Hornof pictured below.