Skoda has revealed the first sketches of a car that stands a good chance of becoming Ireland's best-seller; the new Skoda Octavia. However, all is not what it seems.
A four-door coupe Octavia?
To judge from these sketches, you'd think that the new Octavia will actually be a rival to Volkswagen's big and sleek Arteon. Those heavy creases down the side; the pert and chopped-off tailgate edges; the steep front end with those piercing headlamps.
Well, perhaps not...
It'll look like a shrunken Superb
It always pays to be wary of sketches of new cars, as they do give you an idea of the overall shapes and themes, but they always also look about 80 per cent sleeker and sexier than the finished item. In fact, the new Octavia will look exactly as you'd expect it to - rather like a slimmed down version of the current Superb, with the grille and lights from the Scala hatchback.
No all-electric version
Needless to say, it will use Volkswagen's MQB platform as a basis, so expect a broadly similar lineup of 1.0 and 1.5-litre petrol turbo engines, and 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels. This time around, though, the Octavia will be going (partially) electric with the addition of a plug-in hybrid 'iV' variant, based around the upcoming Superb's 1.4-litre turbo petrol plug-in powertrain. Expect CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and an electric range of around 50km.
Will we see an all-electric Octavia? Doubtful - there's no electric Golf 8 (the car the Octavia shares its mechanical package with) as Volkswagen's electric car duties are to be taken up by the new ID range. Skoda is likely to follow suit and build a standalone all-electric model based on the ID's MEB electric car platform.
What we can say with confidence is that the new Octavia will be bigger and more expensive than it is now. With the new Scala hatchback now more closely aligned with the likes of the Focus and Corolla in terms of price and size, the Octavia will get pricier (figure of a basic starting price of around €25-26,000 when it arrives) and more luxurious to compete with rival SUV products.