The first few seconds you look at this Skoda Octavia, you could be mistaken for thinking it is just any old Octavia carrying a little too much luggage and putting its suspension to the test.
However, our eagle-eyed spy photographers assert that this is, in fact, an early prototype of the next-generation Skoda Octavia. Take a second look at the car and you may be able to spot some key giveaways of it being unique.
First and foremost, there is a redesigned front fascia. While the same controversial, split headlights of the current Octavia are still present, they’ve now been complemented by an entirely new lower grille and faux air intakes. It remains to be seen how close this new front fascia is to what the production car will have but it’s not the only element that gives away this prototype’s true identity.
Take a look at the wheels and you’ll notice what appear to be some kind of sensors in the hubs. Additionally, it is reasonable to assume that the vehicle is sitting so low to the ground because of some heavy testing equipment in the rear.
A major overhaul is somewhat overdue for the Octavia
The Skoda Octavia has been produced by the Czech company since 1996 and is currently in its third-generation. The current Octavia we’re most familiar with arrived in early 2017 as a facelifted model with the aforementioned split headlights and an unchanged rear end.
It remains to be seen what powertrains the 2020 Octavia will be offered with but there’s a chance the plug-in hybrid system used by the forthcoming Superb PHEV is on Skoda’s radar. Beyond this, the usual mix of diesel and petrol engines should be available.
If you’re concerned that the lack of significant styling changes on this prototype indicates what the final production model will look like, don’t be. Skoda appears to have simply grabbed a current Octavia and commenced testing of it without fitting the new body panels.