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Skoda Octavia Combi (2014)

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Skoda Octavia Combi - Front Angle, 2014, 1 of 125
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Skoda Octavia Combi

The new Škoda Octavia Combi is a new highlight in the world of compact cars. Like no other vehicle in this segment, the newest Škoda combines high levels of functionality with dynamic elegance, featuring clear lines, perfect proportions and highest precision down to the smallest detail. The Škoda Octavia Combi is a new, commanding statement by the designer team lead by Škoda design chief Jozef Kabaň.

The new Škoda design is also conveyed in the new Octavia Combi. "This car is cast in one piece," says Frank Welsch, Škoda board member for technical development. "Its clear, dynamic appearance helps it stand out from the masses and is also more practical than ever before. The new Škoda Octavia Combi is the perfect interplay of form and function. A Combi that shows that even a large car can be beautiful," explains Welsch.

As with the new Škoda Octavia limousine, the new Octavia Combi concentrates on the essentials artistic lines- both inside and out. The clear, precise forms, sharp edges and distinctive proportions immediately catch the eye. "You don't need any gimmicks or excessive decorations to have an attractive car, but rather a clear style that is timeless and remains appealing over many years,", says design chief Kabaň. "That is what the new Octavia Combi stands for."

The front end of the Škoda Octavia Combi - more commanding and distinctive than ever

Skoda Octavia Combi (2014)

2014 Skoda Octavia Combi

The front end of the Škoda Octavia Combi shows class, is commanding and assertive - without appearing pretentious. Accentuating details and emphasising horizontal lines has made the front end border on the prestigious. At the same time, the 'face' of the Octavia can be recognised unmistakably as that of Škoda Combi by its characteristic shapes and the arrangement of design elements such as the radiator grille, the logo and the headlights. The front of the Combi is identical with that of the Octavia limousine.

The new Škoda logo has been placed prominently on the bonnet - the "premium location," as designers call it. At the same time, the logo is the origin of almost all the lines of the car. The logo already represents the ultimate in precision and clarity: it shows the finely detailed finned arrow in chrome on matte-black background, surrounded by a fine chrome line.

The radiator grille with its 21 vertically slats forms the centre of the vehicle's front end. In the new Octavia Combi, the grille has grown slightly and is now placed a little higher than was the case still with the second generation. In addition, to give the grille added visual emphasis, the designers separated it more clearly from the headlights. Slight curves make the outer shape more dynamic. A fine strip of chrome surrounds the radiator grille - for an elegant, distinctive finish.

Together with the grille, the distinctively shaped headlights of the Škoda Octavia Combi form a closed, characteristic front-end graphic. Completely redesigned, with their precisely worked-out, sharply cut form and horizontal arrangement, the car's completely redesigned headlights emphasise the width of the front-end of the Octavia. At the same time, the skilful design of the headlights again emphasises the subject of precision. The type of the surface finish and the working of precisely cut edges resemble that of cut glass. Deliberate variations on such crystalline design elements emphasises the roots of the vehicle in the Czech Republic, a country with a great tradition in crystal glass.

The vertical lines of the radiator grille fins continue in the vertical light lines of the bixenon headlights, including LED daytime running lights. This aesthetically pleasing continuation of the lines is reminiscent of eyelashes in their gracefulness and provides the new Octavia with a unique 'face'.

The front fog lights fulfil an important optical function as they combine with the headlights to form a cloverleaf shape. This emphasises the "likeable" appearance of the new Octavia. The air intake with its honeycomb grille is located between the front fog lights. This structural arrangement provides functional advantages and makes the new Octavia sporty, youthful and fresh.

The commanding bonnet also conveys solidity and value. Shaped three-dimensionally, it elevates the front part of the vehicle and strengthens the appearance of the overall vehicle.

Dynamic elegance

The side view of the new Octavia Combi conveys pure dynamics, featuring the finely tuned interplay of lines, surfaces, window graphics and proportion. The elongated Combi shape also benefits the car.

Compared to the previous model, the almost 11 cm longer wheelbase (2,686 mm vs. 2,578 mm) emphasizes the new model's striking proportions, as does the front overhang that is 886 mm shorter (Octavia II: 915 mm). The total length of the new Octavia Combi is 4,659 mm, which makes the third generation 90 mm longer than its predecessor. The Combi's length and width are identical to the dimensions of the Octavia limousine. In fact, with a height of 1,465 mm the Combi is 4 millimetres higher than the limousine.

The Octavia Combi appears very clear from the side - a dynamically flowing silhouette from the front to the rear window, undisturbed by any unnecessary breaks or superfluous lines. In addition, the self-contained, the sharp side profile amplifies the effect of the high tornado line. It accentuates the powerful appearance of the new Octavia, stretching the car visually. The sharp emphasis of the tornado line creates an effective contrast of light and shadow.

The window line gently slopes downward and elegantly transitions into the D-pillars, a dynamic finishing touch that enables optimal utilisation of the cargo area. The rear end of the vehicle is extremely harmonious and natural, far from looking "bolted on." The taillights extend from the rear area to the side of the vehicle and end directly at the tornado line.

The dynamic design of the new Octavia Combi does not come at the expense of the interior space. On the contrary, the third generation offers more space than ever before. Whether it is the interior length, legroom, or more headroom or elbow width, the new Octavia Combi expanded in all directions. The boot volume has increased to 610 litres - another best in class standard. The boot opening is now also wider and higher. At 631 mm x 6 mm, the loading sill is even lower than before, which makes loading extremely easier.

The rear - clear and clean style

The rear of the new Octavia Combi is clear, precise and clean. The new Škoda brand logo is located on the centre of the boot lid. The left side of the boot lid shows the Škoda company name, while the right side bears the Octavia model designation in new lettering. Everything is in its place.

The new Octavia Combi is immediately recognisable as a Škoda due to its C-shaped rear lights and the characteristic triangles on the boot lid. The taillights graphic is typical of Škoda with its distinctive C-shaped lighting contour and has been executed in the new Octavia with brilliant consistency. Like in the Octavia limousine, each taillight of the Octavia Combi now features two C-shaped light strips that enhance the graphic effect. In the top version, these strips are made from LED light strips. Crystal-like structures are visible in the taillights as well. As a supplement to the graphical arrangement of the lights, the new Octavia has two reflecting light strips. These 'cat eyes' run dynamically from the side of the vehicle into the bumper.

Another rear-view features that is characteristic of the brand are the two cubistic triangles on the left and right sides of the boot lid that are detailed with precise lines. They connect the graphics of the taillights with the boot lid. These triangles at the rear of new Škoda models are an elegant eye-catcher. A black diffuser forms the tail end, integrating technical elements such as parking assist sensors and the optionally available trailer hitch and completely the exhaust system.

Fresh interior space

Clean styling, timeless elegance and above all, lots and lots of space: these are features that are immediately evident in the interior of the new Octavia Combi. Each Škoda stands for spaciousness, especially the Combi. The designers were impressively successful in providing this space with a new definition in the Octavia. Everything is aesthetically appealing, precise and refined, whether it is control elements or air intake vents, whether dashboard, steering wheels, gear shift levers, panels, door openers or power windows. Everything is new and extremely functional, which was the motto of the interior designers.

The interior of the Octavia impresses with its horizontal orientation and generous space offering. There is none of the traditional subdivision of the dashboard by means of decorative trims. This provides the interior with a fresh feeling. It also means that the front-seat passenger has an optimised view of the instruments. "In other words, a democratisation of the interior," says Jozef Kabaň. "The driver and the passenger have virtually the same rights. Our motto is equal comfort for everyone aboard."

Ergonomics plays a major role: "The feeling you have in the Octavia is that of wearing a well-tailored suit," says Kabaň. "Everything fits perfectly, and you feel great. The vehicle imparts a feeling of value and solidity that one does not necessary expect to see in this segment."

Centrally located in the centre console, beneath the hazard warning flasher switch, is the radio infotainment system with all the necessary menu buttons and knobs. The newly developed systems feature touch displays of up to 8-inches in size with proximity sensors, depending on the model. Underneath the infotainment module are the controls for the air conditioning system. Clarity and precision are a recurring theme in all aspects of all elements of the interior. The white-backlit instrument panel has been redesigned. For the first time, the multi-function display Maxi DOT in the centre of the instrument cluster of the Octavia Combi can be ordered in colour.

The door panels in the new Octavia Combi also provide a feeling of quality. In the upper equipment packages, for example, elegant decor trims flows into the door handles. The power window controls are ergonomically easy to reach in the arms rests. On the driver's side, the electric mirror adjustment controls sit underneath the door handle.

Variety and individuality

Three equipment lines are available for the Škoda Octavia Combi: Active, Ambition and Elegance. Wheel sizes vary depending on the line (15 or 16 inch, steel or alloy) as do interior colours (ranging from black to black-grey to black-beige), decor choices, air conditioning, storage compartments, instrument clusters, infotainment or safety equipment. The options for individualisation of the new Octavia Combi are almost limitless, be it chrome strips, nine steering wheel versions with three or four spokes, nine wheel designs and four wheel sizes, from 15 to 18 inches - no desires will remain unfulfilled.

Twelve colours are available for the exterior: three solid paints in candy white, corrida red, and Pacific blue as well as nine metallic paints, from topaz brown, race blue, platinum grey, brilliant silver, denim blue, rosso Brunello, cappuccino beige, and lava blue to Magic black with pearl effect.

Clever loadmaster

The new Škoda Octavia Combi has by far the largest boot in the compact segment. Other benchmarks include the longest interior in the segment and the most kneeroom for rear-seat passengers. In addition, occupants will have more headroom yet again in the new Octavia Combi than they did in the predecessor model, which itself was roomy to begin with.

Generous space offering for occupants and baggage

Drivers and passengers will enjoy outstanding roominess in the new Škoda Octavia Combi. The new model boasts generous measurements that even outclass competitors in higher segments. No compact car offers a longer interior or more kneeroom in the rear. Interior legnth in the new Škoda Octavia Combi has grown by 33 mm to 1,782 mm as against the predecessor model. Kneeroom in the rear grew by 26 mm to a current 73 mm. In addition, the new Combi features even more front and rear headroom (front: 983 mm instead of hitherto 981 mm; rear: 995 mm instead of 984 mm). This means occupants have even more headroom than in the new Octavia limousine. What has grown significantly is elbow room, by 39 mm to 1,454 mm in the front and by 26 mm to 1,449 mm in the rear. The Combi's shoulder room is also markedly optimised, having expanded 19 mm to 1,398 mm in the front and by 4 mm in the rear to 1,378 mm.

The new Škoda Octavia Combi's boot scores another benchmark as volume has grown by five litres to 610 litres as compared to the existing Octavia Combi, which is equivalent to 20 litres more than in the limousine. Folding down the rear seats increases the loading volume in the Combi to an impressive 1,740 litres (hitherto 1,655). The rear seat back in the new Octavia Combi can be conveniently folded down from the trunk using a drawbar. Folding down the front passenger seat permits transportation of objects even as long as 2.92 metres.

The new Škoda Octavia Combi's tailgate swings open widely, making loading extremely convenient: the boot opening is all of 1,070 mm in height, 9 mm more than in the predecessor model. The boot's width is a maximum of 1,070 (Octavia Combi II: 1,061 mm). The loading sill is a mere 631 mm, 6 mm less than hitherto.

The new Octavia Combi shows grandness in every respect, its exterior dimensions equalling those of the Octavia limousine. At almost 4.66 metres, the car has grown by 90 mm in length and, at 1.81 metres (excluding side mirrors) by 45 mm in width compared to its predecessor. At the same time, the Combi's wheelbase has expanded by 108 mm. This new grandness not only leads to an extremely assured stance, it also has an extremely positive effect on the new Octavia Combi's inner spaciousness.

A clever estate car through and through

Add to this numerous "Simply Clever" details in the new Škoda Octavia Combi. The boot is not just gigantic, it has also been thought through from A to Z. Available for the first time in a Škoda is the new Škoda Octavia Combi's variable double loading floor in the boot, enabling to partition the boot into compartments of different heights and areas, which makes for a wide variety of transport options. There is a total of six positions. In addition, the system provides storage space for the boot's removable roll cover and also the optional roof rack.

A new feature for the Octavia Combi is the coat rack underneath the boot covering, which offers space for objects which would otherwise spill out across the boot.

The rear seat back can be folded at the ratio of 60:40. An optional separating net prevents objects from being hurled forward and can be used even with the rear seats folded down.

Four folding hooks for shopping bags in the boot come as a standard. Two boot lights ensure visibility, and a 12 V plug provides convenient power, e.g. for a cooling bag.

For the first time ever, the Octavia Combi has a double-sided floor mat in the boot: during normal use, a high-quality carpet ensures comfort and provides a pleasant appearance. The mat can simply be flipped over to carry dirty hiking boots, potted plants or wet ski boots on what is then a dirt- and water-repellent top.

The so-called cargo fastening element is a new feature which can fasten cartons and boxes, among other things, securely in the boot. Nothing will ever slide around out of control. The cargo element folds away into the boot's right-hand side to save space. If needed, it can be unfolded and stood up, with velcro on the underside preventing slippage. The object to be fastened is then simply inserted between the fastening element and the boot wall.

The interior of the Škoda Octavia Combi is also "simply clever." It has all of the features familiar from the limousine. A multimedia holder in the cup holder of the centre console makes room for the mobile phone or iPod. There are rubbish bins for the storage area in the door. And there is also no lack of beverage holders. Up to eight bottles can be put into holders designed specifically for them. A 1.5 litre goes into each of the front doors, two 0.5 litre bottles into the front centre console, a 0.5 litre bottle into each of the rear doors and optionally two 0.5 litre bottles into the folded down rear central armrest.

There will be no more tedious searching on cold winter days and nor more snow spilling onto the seats on opening the door. An ice scraper is located in the fuel filler flap as a standard. It simply slides into the fuel filler flap and is at hand anytime it is needed. There is also a fixed spot for the warning vest, mandatory in many countries, in the new Octavia Combi. There is a warning vest holder underneath the driver seat. No more lengthy searching for it inside the boot, especially not when that is loaded.

Safety on the highest level

The Škoda Octavia Combi sets standards in terms of safety, too. Innovative safety systems, a comprehensive passivesafety package including up to nine airbags and the car's stable handling make this youngest offspring of Škoda's one of the safest cars in its segment.

The safety support systems for the new Škoda Octavia Combi are extremely diverse. In case of a collision, a comprehensive package of passive safety elements ensures the best possible protection for both the driver and the passengers. The new model features many innovative safety systems to increase active safety: from the Front Assistant to the proactive Crew Protect Assistant. The newly developed, precise chassis, a long wheelbase and a solid and light-weight body structure also contribute to outstandingly stable handling of the most recent Škoda model.

After a collision in traffic, there is quite often the risk of a further collision, meaning a second impact: be it with the vehicle ahead, another road user, or with obstacles (crash barriers, trees). The Multi-Collision Brake, available for the first time in a Škoda, works to prevent this. In EU countries, Škoda fits this technology as standard in its Octavia Combi. The Multi-Collision Brake automatically slows the vehicle after a detected collision - even if the driver no longer presses the brake pedal. A further collision is avoided and/or the speed at which the further collision takes place is reduced. The Multi-Collision Brake is a component of the Electronic Stability Control ESC. It slows down the car up to a residual speed of 10 km/h. Activation of the Multi-Collision Brake switches on the hazard flashers and the brake lights. The driver can override the system at any time by pressing the accelerator or initiating an emergency stop of his own volition. German automotive club ADAC recently presented the Volkswagen-developed Multi-Collision Brake with a safety innovation award.

The Front Assistant of the new Octavia Combi becomes active in case of an imminent head-to-tail collision. Just as with the Adaptive Cruise Assistant comfort feature that is also available in the Škoda Octavia Combi, the Front Assistant uses a radar sensor integrated into the front end to continuously measure the distance to the vehicle ahead. The system works in four stages: The smaller the distance to the vehicle ahead becomes, the stronger the Front Assistant acts. The first stage is a visual warning alerting to insufficient distance. The next stage warns both visually and acoustically of an approaching obstacle and prepares the braking system. As a main warning, the third stage triggers a brief jerking of the brakes and then initiates the automatic partial braking. The highest stage finally turns the braking assistant to the highest sensitivity for automatic application of the brakes. If the driver does not react at all, an emergency braking takes place. This way, the system can reduce the severity of the accident and may, depending on the situation, even prevent a collision entirely.

In a speed range of 5 to 30 km/h, the Front Assistant works in conjunction with the City Emergency Braking Function to bring the Octavia Combi to a full stop automatically if the driver does not react to an obstacle in the vehicle's path. The City Emergency Braking Function achieves a deceleration of 8 m/s2 in case of maximum risk of collision.

Driver fatigue is one of the most frequent causes of accidents. The Driver Activity Assistant (fatigue detection), available for the first time in the new Škoda Octavia Combi, can reduce this problem. Based on observed steering behaviour, the system recognises deviations from normal handling and hence a weakening of the driver's concentration. The system analyses the steering behaviour 15 minutes after the engine has been started provided speed is more than 65 km/h, and stores the result as basis for a signal. A significant deviation from the characteristic steering behaviour will indicate fatigue of the driver triggering a visual message in the cluster instrument - "fatigue detected - please take break" - recommending a pause.

In the Crew Protect Assistant pro-active occupant protection, Škoda makes another system available in the new Škoda Octavia Combi that was hitherto mainly used in luxury vehicles. The Crew Protect Assistant 'prepares' the driver and the passengers for an impending accident: In case of a detected risk - for instance, emergency braking or a driving situation rated critical - the system pre-tightens the seat belts for both the driver and the passengers. In addition, the system closes the side windows (except for a remaining gap) and the sunroof in case of critical instable driving situations such as in strong oversteering or understeering with triggering of the ESC. This is done to prevent objects from entering the car.

The Lane Assistant also considerably improves driving safety. The lane departure warning assistant lowers the risk of inadvertently leaving the lane. It supports drivers of the new Octavia Combi especially on motorways and highways with clearly visible lane markings. The system works with a camera integrated into the base of the interior rearview mirror in the windshield. The camera detects lane markings in front of the car at speeds of 65 km/h and above. The lane departure warning assistant recognises an unintended departure from the lane, providing a visual message in the cluster instrument, and initiates corrective steering. Without recognisable lane markings, the system does not work. If the turning signal is turned on prior to crossing a marking, the Lane Assistant also does not react.

Comprehensive protection in a collision

Unfortunately, not even the best safety systems can prevent each and every accident. If, despite all precautions, a collision or impact occurs, the new Škoda Octavia Combi provides the best possible protection available. For the first time, the Octavia Combi features a knee airbag for the driver (standard in EU countries) as well as two optional rear side airbags. Up to nine airbags protect the occupants from injuries. In addition, the front-seat passenger airbag can be deactivated when transporting an infant carrier.

As a rule, all occupants are secured with 3-point seat belts (height-adjustable in the front) with pre-tensioners (in the rear, optional in combination with side airbags). Integrated belt force limiters reduce forces to an occupant's chest. For increased child safety, Isofix child seats can be firmly connected to the car using apposite mounts on the backseat and also with an additional top safety belt, the so-called TopTether. Upon request, Isofix anchors can also be integrated into the front-seat passenger seat.

In all countries of the European Union, safety features such as the anti-skid program Electronic Stability Control (ESC) including the Multi-Collision Brake, seven airbags, the deactivatable front-seat passenger airbag, and Daytime Running Lights come as standard. ESC is triggered in critical driving situations and systematically prevents the vehicle from swerving in curves.

Improved axles, longer wheel base make for a modern chassis

Stable handling with high agility in curves and balanced suspension comfort were the objectives of the Škoda Octavia Combi's chassis developers. The result is remarkable: a stable, balanced chassis that optimally fulfils all safety and comfort requirements.

The chassis of the new Octavia Combi uses one of two types of rear axle. Petrol engine versions with up to 103 kW und diesel engines up to 110 kW come with a newly designed twist beam rear axle. More powerful engines such as the all-wheel-drive Combi and the future compressed natural gas (CNG) version, will use a newly developed multi-link rear axle.

The torsion beam rear axle consists of a cross-section open at the bottom in which an inlay sheet is welded in at the end, each. The inlay sheets are of different lengths so that different torsion rates can be achieved. In comparison to a welded-in tubular stabiliser, this design leads to a significant weight advantage. The twist beam rear axle weighs 38 kg that is 15 kg less than the rear axle previously used in the Octavia - with increased rigidity and improved roll-steer behaviour.

The multilink rear axle was also systematically improved, especially with an eye on the weight. Use of high-strength steel as well as structural improvements in a large number of components reduced weight by 4 kg to a current 49 kg. The underlying design principle with its systematic separation of longitudinal and transverse rigidity assures excellent comfort and handling characteristics.

At the front, the new Octavia features a MacPherson front axle (struts) with a newly developed wishbone at the bottom. High-strength steel for the wishbone and an innovative bionics design approach at the rocker pivot contribute to both weight savings and stability. The auxiliary frame mounted centrally on the front axle is designed for the highest transverse rigidity. Overall, 2.8 kg of weight have been saved in the front axle.

The wheel base of the new Škoda Octavia has grown by 108 mm in comparison to its predecessor. This significantly larger distance between the front axle and the rear axle additionally has a positive effect on the vehicle's road handling stability.

Safe and lighter-weight body due to innovative manufacturing methods

Thanks to innovative use of high-strength and highest-strength steels as well as new manufacturing methods have resulted in a body for the new Škoda Octavia Combi that is not only lighter but also sturdier than that of its predecessor model.

Approximately a quarter (26.1 per cent) of the safety architecture consists of hot formed, highest-strength steels. These components are up to six times stronger than common deep-drawing steels and are up to four times as strong as conventional high-strength steels. They are created by heating steel at high temperatures (approx. 950 degrees Celsius), forming it while it is still glowing, and then cooling it down to 180 degrees Celsius within 5.5 seconds. The advantage is that components thus manufactured be made considerably thinner than before for the same crash resistance - this saves weight and leads to fuel savings in the new Škoda Octavia Combi.

Less weight and consumption

The new Škoda Octavia Combi employs impressive technology that works for the customer. Depending on the engine, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in this new model are up to 17 per cent lower than its predecessor's figures. The new Octavia Combi 1.6 TDI/81 kW GreenLine achieves 3.3 l/100 km, reducing CO2 emissions to a mere 87 g/km.

Newly developed engines and reduced vehicle weight are the main contributors to the Škoda Octavia Combi's drastically reduced fuel consumption. Despite its size and higher performance, the third-generation is up to 102 kilogrammes lighter than its predecessor. The reduction in weight varies according to its configuration. Consistent lightweight construction, advanced body design, use of hot-worked, highest-grade steel and careful selection of materials have lowered the Octavia Combi's weight, and, at the same time, have made this car safer and more comfortable.

Major components of a car's weight are its electrics, drivetrain, chassis and superstructure, i.e. its body and interior. The Octavia Combi's drivetrain weight has been reduced by up to 40 kg. The superstructure is up to 30 kg lighter, and the chassis can be up to 26 kg less in weight. An additional 6 kg is saved in electrics.

Lighter body through the use of high-strength steels and a new design

Besides the drivetrain, the key element of the new Škoda Octavia Combi's "weight-loss diet" is the body. Even so, Škoda's designers managed to make the car conform to new crash and rigidity requirements. Lightweight and stable - made of nearly 70 per cent high and highest-grade steel - the new Škoda Octavia Combi's body manages to be both. About one fourth of the body, not counting doors and hatches, is made of hotworked, highest-grade steels. In comparison, the second-generation Octavia Combi included 6.3 per cent hot-worked parts.

These highest-grade components are up to six times stiffer than regular deep-drawing steels and up to four times stiffer than conventional high-grade steels. These types of steel are produced by heating to about 950°C, pressing the steel in a red-hot state, and cooling it to 180°C within 5.5 seconds. Components manufactured using this process can be much thinner and thus lighter than in the past while withstanding the same crash impact.

High-grade and highest-grade steels enable Škoda engineers to customise and save materials. Furthermore, improvements have been made to the geometry of the support structure and flat components. In this area, developers have benefited from advancements in virtual development processes: Computer applications help make use of available space with much more precision. For flat components, developers have improved the computation of acoustic properties, save insulation and thus weight in the process.

In their quest for even more savings, developers have helped the Octavia shed more pounds in its interior design. This affects components such as the instrument panel, air conditioning and seats. Together, the body and interior save up to 30 kg.

Lighter chassis through optimized axles

The Octavia Combi's improved chassis saves up to 26 kg. The torsion beam axle weighs 38 kg, which is 15 kg less than the Octavia Combi's rear axle used thus far. Its cross-section has an open underside with welded inlay sheets welded in on its outer ends. The two inlay sheets are different in length, achieving differing torsion rates. This enabled engineers to achieve optimum rolling properties for the profile and a high degree of lateral rigidity. Compared with a welded tubular stabilizer, this design is significantly lighter. Thanks to high-tensile steel and innovative design processes, the new torsion beam axle is stiffer than axles of this type have been thus far.

The rear multilink axle was also designed for excellent comfort and handling. On this axle type, specific improvements were made in kinematics, acoustics, weight, and modular design. The basic design principle with its consistent separation of longitudinal and lateral rigidity applies just as before. The axle's weight was reduced from 53 kg to 49 kg through the use of high-grade steels and structural improvements to a number of components. The rear multilink axle's low lateral rigidity was maintained through the trailing arm's soft axle guidance bearing, which is key for increased driving comfort. Škoda's engineers also improved the axle's lateral rigidity necessary for steering behaviour with a new setup in the track rod bearings. Eccentric screws on the spring control arm and transversal upper arm permit individual adjustments of camber and wheel track values for each vehicle type. The tubular stabilizer and shock absorbers are now connected via the spring control arm. This reduces forces within the axle and leads to significant package advantages.

The front of the new Škoda Octavia Combi includes a MacPherson front axle (struts) with a newly designed, lower triangular wishbone suspension. The functionality, weight, and cost of each component have been consistently optimized. Weight savings are achieved through the use of high-tensile steel on the transversal arm and an innovative bionic design on the swivel bearing. Located at the centre of the front axle, the subframe is designed for maximum lateral rigidity. In addition to front axle components, this frame also houses the steering and parts of the engine mount. For the combined use with 16-inch brakes, a new, lighter aluminium transversal arm was developed. The redesigned front axle saved a total of 2.8 kg.

Travelling in comfort

The new Škoda Octavia Combi now offers numerous innovative comfort systems that have previously only been available in higher vehicle classes, as well as the latest generation of infotainment and navigation systems.

The utilisation of new technologies is no end in itself. The supreme goal of Škoda's engineers has always been to make driving a car as safe and as comfortable as possible. In addition to numerous assistance systems for more safety, the new Škoda Octavia Combi now also offers a series of new comfort functions.

In the future, the new model will feature Adaptive Cruise Assistant (ACA). ACA maintains a safe distance to the vehicle ahead at a selected speed, controlling the engine and actuating the brakes to automatically accelerate or decelerate as needed. The system combines a cruise control system with a distance controller. A radar sensor in the front end of the vehicle provides the required data. ACA works with manual transmissions and with automatic double-clutch transmissions DSG - at a speed range of 30 to 160 km/h. When operating under 30 km/h with manual transmission, the Front Assistant, which is always included of ACA, will activate automatically and, if needed, will apply maximum brake force. In the case of the Octavia Combi with DSG, the vehicle can even be automatically slowed down all the way to a full stop with the help of ACA.

In practice, drivers do not always turn the high beams off in time. The new Intelligent Light Assistant automatically controls use of the high beams, improving the comfort and safety in traffic. From a speed of 60 km/h on and in case of sufficient darkness, this assistant automatically turns on the high beam. When closing in on a vehicle ahead (at a distance of up 400 meters) or in the case of an oncoming vehicle (at a distance of up to approx. 1.000 meters), the system automatically dims the headlights to prevent not blind other road users. Even when the Intelligent Light Assistant is activated, the driver can manually turn the high beams on or off and remains in control at all times. The system utilises a camera built into the base of the interior mirror which is solidly connected to the windshield. It captures the light signals and passes the data on to the control device located in the mirror's housing.

Another purpose of this camera is road sign recognition, which will be offered in the Octavia Combi for the first time. An image-processing module analyses the images captured for speed limit and no-passing signs including relevant additional information such as "Speed limit 80 km/h when wet" or "No passing of trucks" as well as the signs announcing the end of the respective restriction. Thanks to automatic traffic sign recognition, drivers can focus more on the traffic situation. The presentation takes place in the multi-function Maxi DOT display in the instrument cluster and/or in the display of the navigation system in the centre console.

After its premiere in the Octavia limousine, the Combi offers the most recent version of the Automatic Parking Assistant. In addition to entering and exiting parking spots parallel to the traffic lane, the system now supports entering parking spots backwards perpendicular to the traffic lane. This is how it works: The driver activates the system with the push of a button at speeds up to 40 km/h and then sets his turning signal depending on which side of the street he intends to park on. The system uses ultrasound sensors to detect available parking spaces. It then measures surrounding area for parking lot of a sufficient size and determines the starting point for the parking maneuver, which it then performs automatically once the driver has put the car in reverse and presses the accelerator. Accelerating and braking is left to the driver, with the system handling all other tasks comprising the parking maneuver including steering the car along an ideal trajectory. If the driver accelerates to more than 7 km/h as the car enters the parking spot, or if the car encounters an obstacle, the systems stops the car via the emergency braking function.

The completely revised Intelligent Park Distance Assistant offer enhanced functionalities. The system operates in combination with the Bolero infotainment radio or the Amundsen and Columbus infotainment navigation systems. Thanks to special distance sensors, acoustic and visual notifications in the infotainment display are presented regarding the distance to the vehicle in front and in the rear. In doing so, the Intelligent Parking Assistant will only display notifications in the direction of the car's motion.

The Driving Mode Selection, new to the brand and model, allows drivers to adjust certain handling characteristics in the new Škoda Octavia Combi at the push of a button. Four driving modes are available: NORMAL, SPORT, ECO and INDIVIDUAL. Depending on the selected mode, a whole number of settings are changed, e.g. in the engine and DSG transmission control systems, coasting, power steering, ACA distance control, bi-xenon headlight control or Climatronic A/C system.

The NORMAL mode allows for relaxed driving but also leaves leeway for dynamic driving. The SPORT mode provides for particular agility on the road, the power steering or the automatic shifting of the DSG transmission are accordingly adjusted to a direct and tight setting. The ECO mode leads to a lower fuel consumption, e.g. though shifting earlier, later throttle response and a more moderate setting of the A/C system. In the INDIVIDUAL mode, the driver can configure selected characteristics of the Octavia Combi to his or her liking.

An extremely convenient feature is the KESSY (Keyless Entry Start and Exit System). The driver will still carry the key to the vehicle with him, but no longer needs to hold it in hand to open and start the Škoda Octavia Combi. The KESSY control unit will recognise the key at a distance of up to 1.50 m from the car. If the driver operates the door handle or the hatch of the boot, the vehicle will unlock automatically. Starting the car is also done via the push of a button, located to the right of the steering column.

The electrically operated panoramic tilt/slide sunroof is available for the new Škoda Octavia Combi as an option. It consists of two pieces. The front piece can be tilted up or slid open with the help of the electric motor. Upon opening, a wind-breaking element lifts up at the front edge to prevent a draft into the interior of the cabin and to reduce wind noise. The rear piece of the panoramic roof is fixed. The sunroof consists of tinted, heat-insulating glass and has a size of 1,362 x 870 mm. The glass reflects 95 per cent of the incoming heat and 93 per cent of the light. The driver and front seat passenger can operate the front of the panoramic roof via a rotary switch located centrally in the front of the roof liner. Eight different settings are available. In addition, the glass roof can be darkened as needed with an electronic rolling mesh shade.

The tailgate of the new Škoda Octavia Combi can be opened and closed electronically (option) using two buttons on the tailgate, but it can also be opened from inside the vehicle by pressing a button on the centre console or on the remote locking control. When the tailgate is opened from inside the vehicle or using the remote locking control, the vehicle will emit a warning. It is also possible to set the maximum top position of the tailgate when open.

The new Octavia Combi features a completely newly developed generation of A/C systems with significantly increased efficiency. The fully automatic Climatronic manages the cabin's interior temperature via a 2-zone control based on sun, air quality and humidity sensors. The sun sensor captures the intensity and direction of the sun's rays. The air quality sensor analyses the air quality. The humidity sensor allows operation of the A/C system's compressor in line with demand, the Climatronic turning the compressor on and off as needed. This leads to significant fuel savings.

Contemporary infotainment with up to 8-inch touch screen

The new Škoda Octavia Combi amazes with new infotainment technology. As in the Škoda Octavia, advanced systems feature touchscreen with proximity sensor. Pure hearing pleasure is provided by the new CANTON sound system, which was soundoptimised for the passenger space.

Above and beyond radio and navigation functions, all infotainment systems feature vehicle-specific settings, to be controlled via the 'CAR' button next to the screen. Depending on the vehicle's equipment, side windows, exterior rear-view mirrors, parking sensors, lights, central locking or the auxiliary heating system can be operated via the infotainment system.

The new basic Blues and Swing radios feature a monochrome TFT display with a resolution of 310 × 70 pixels. In both versions, there are four loudspeakers in the front. Blues features basic radio functions and a USB and aux-in connection through which, for instance, an MP3 player can be operated. Swing's enhanced version offers a CD drive and a connection for a SD card, with a Bluetooth function and a Phone Box available as options. To the left and to the right of the TFT display three buttons provide access to menus and 'Radio', 'Media', 'Phone' as well as 'Setup', 'Car' and 'Back' functions.

Bolero radio/CD and Amundsen navigation system feature a 5.8-inch touch screen with colour display at a resolution of 400 × 240 pixels. The display features proximity sensors: As soon as a finger comes near it, the system switches automatically to operating mode. Pinch-to-zoom functions familiar from smartphones make operation easy. The Bolero radio system, for example, is equipped with FM/AM radio, four loudspeakers each, in the front and the rear, CD drive, USB and aux-in connections as well as an interface for SD cards. Bolero is optionally available with Bluetooth and Phone Box. The Amundsen radio navigation system additionally features 2D-navigation display, two interfaces for SD cards and Bluetooth functionality. Four buttons to the right and four to the left of the display activate the menu and additional functions such as 'Phone' and 'Sound' menu levels. As an option, Bolero and Amundsen can be ordered with DAB digital radio and a high-quality Canton sound system.

The Columbus radio navigation system leaves hardly any infotainment desire unfilled. Its 3D navigation display uses a large 8-inch touch screen with a resolution of 800 × 480 pixels. A DVD player (audio and video) takes the place of a CD player. In addition, Columbus offers a screen with proximity sensors, media-in connection incl. Apple video functionality, menu guidance, eight loudspeakers, 2 SD card slots, Bluetooth high-end telephone functionality, voice control, JPEG viewer and an internal 64 GB flash memory.

All systems feature USB and aux-in interfaces - or a Media-In connection in the Columbus - located separately underneath the A/C operating panel. This prevents cable chaos: e.g. charging the phone no longer requires a cable to be connected to the radio.

The CANTON sound system is available for particularly refined sound. The system comprises eight powerful loudspeakers in the side doors, one central loudspeaker located in the dashboard, as well as a subwoofer in the boot. Total power of the system is 570 watts.

The Octavia Combi also offers a Phone Box, a storage compartment for the mobile phone in the centre console. Its highlight is a planar antenna in the bottom of the compartment, which permits a so-called inductive exterior antenna connection. With the mobile phone resting on the console, signals travel between the phone and the vehicle's antenna via short-distance communications, providing optimum send and receive characteristics just as in a fixed telephone installation. The Phone Box enables mobile calls even with weak radio signals and takes strain off the phone's battery as the antenna coupling reduces power consumption.

Driving pleasure with efficiency and top environmental values

The new Škoda Octavia Combi combines driving pleasure and efficiency. Compared with their predecessors, fuel consumption and emission values of the engines are lower by up to 17 per cent. The eight available engine versions (four TSI petrol engines and four TDI common-rail diesel engines) mean a broad range is available. The all-wheel drive Škoda Octavia Combi 4x4 will be launched with three different engine choices, all combining an all-wheel drive with a fifth-generation Haldex clutch.

Including an economical GreenLine version, the range of available engines for the new Škoda Octavia Combi comprises eight units, from the 1.2 TSI/63 kW to the top performance engine, the 1.8 TSI with an output of 132 kW. In EU countries, all engines - except for the basic engines - come standard with a start/stop system and brake energy recovery. The GreenLine sustainable version of the new Octavia Combi, a 1.6 TDI with a power output of 81 kW, uses less than 3.3 litres of diesel for 100 km, which equates to a CO2 emission value of only 87 g/km. A natural gas version of the Octavia Combi is in the pipeline.

The new all-wheel drive Škoda Octavia Combi 4x4 is available in three different engines: 1.8 TSI/132 kW, 1.6 TDI/77 kW and 2.0 TDI/110 kW and features a fifth generation Haldex clutch.

Four petrol engines with 63 to 132 kW for the new Octavia Combi

The petrol engines in the new Škoda Octavia Combi are all turbocharged and directinjection TSI engines with a four-cylinder, four-valve layout.

The entry-level petrol engine of the Octavia is the 1.2 TSI with 63 kW (86 hp) with a combined-cycle fuel consumption of 5.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 122 g/km. Turbocharging produces a maximum torque of 160 Nm (at 1,400 to 3,500 rpm). This entry-level engine comes with a manual 5-speed transmission.

The improved performance version of the 1.2 TSI with 77 kW (105 hp) Green tec, which includes a start/stop system and brake energy recuperation, has a fuel consumption of 5.1 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 117 g/km. The TSI engine provides a maximum torque of 175 Nm at between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm. The engine can be ordered with a manual six speed transmission or an automatic DSG seven-speed transmission. A version without the start/stop system and brake energy recuperation and a manual five speed transmission will also be available at a later date.

The second most powerful petrol engine is the 1.4 TSI Green tec with 103 kW (140 hp), which can be combined with a manual six-speed or an automatic DSG sevenspeed transmission. Fuel consumption of the 1.4 TSI is 5.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are 121 g/km in combination with manual transmission and start/stop technology. The engine achieves its maximum torque of 250 Nm at 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.

The highest-performance petrol engine for the new Škoda Octavia Combi is the 1.8 TSI Green tec with 132 kW (180 hp). This engine is available with front-wheel or allwheel drive (4x4). The front-wheel drive engine consumes 6.1 l/100 km and emits 141 g CO2 per kilometre. Maximum torque of 250 Nm is available between 1,250 and 5,000 rpm. The engine can be ordered with a manual 6-speed transmission or 7-speed DSG direct shift gearbox.

The all-wheel version of the 1.8 TSI is only available with an automatic six-speed DSG. Its combined-cycle fuel consumption is 6.7 l/100 km, and CO2 emissions are 156 g/km. Maximum torque of 280 Nm is available between 1,350 and 4,500 rpm. This information regarding the all-wheel drive version is subject to change.

Economical TDI common-rail engines for the new Škoda Octavia Combi

All of the diesel engines available in the new Škoda Octavia Combi are turbocharged TDI direct injection engines with four cylinders and four-valve technology.

The entry-level diesel engine for the new Octavia Combi is the 1.6 TDI with 66 kW (90 hp) and manual 5-speed transmission. The engine consumes 4.1 l/100 km and emits 109 g CO2 per kilometre (preliminary numbers).

The 1.6 TDI Green tec with 77 kW (105 hp) is available as a front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Fuel consumption of the front-wheel drive version is 3.8 l/100 km and CO2 emissions amount to 99 g/km. The front-wheel drive version can be ordered with a manual five-speed transmission or an automatic DSG seven-speed transmission. The engine delivers a maximum torque of 250 Nm at between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm.

The fuel consumption of the all-wheel drive version of the 1.6 TDI with 77 kW (110 hp) consumes only 4.7 l/100 km and emits only 122 g/km CO2. It is available with a manual six-speed transmission. The engine delivers a maximum torque of 250 Nm at between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm (preliminary numbers).

The most fuel efficient version of the new Škoda Octavia Combi is the GreenLine 1.6 TDI/81 kW (110 hp). With CO2 emissions of only 87 g/km and diesel fuel consumption of only 3.3 l/100 km, the engine is extremely fuel efficient. The GreenLine version can be ordered with a manual six-speed transmission. The market launch is scheduled for the second half of 2013.

The most powerful diesel engine for the new Octavia Combi is the 2.0 TDI Green tec with 110 kW (150 hp) - available as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive has six speeds. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual and an automatic DSG double-clutch transmission. The fuel consumption with a manual transmission is only 4.2 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 110 g/km. In addition, the engine impresses with its outstanding smooth running characteristics and makes its maximum torque of 320 Nm available at as low as between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm.

The 2.0 TDI/110 kW with all-wheel drive has a diesel fuel consumption of 4.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 124 g/km. The 2.0 TDI all-wheel drive car has a manual six-speed transmission and produces a maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1,750 to 3,000 rpm (preliminary figures).

The fuel consumption of the all-wheel drive versions are considerably lower than that of their predecessor. The decrease for the diesel engines is up to 14 per cent. Up to 40 kg less weight, improvements in the all-wheel drive technology and efficient Green tec engines make this possible.

The latest generation all-wheel drive (Haldex 5 clutch)

The new Škoda Octavia Combi's all-wheel drive versions feature all-wheel drive with a fifth generation Haldex clutch. Compared to the system that has been used up to now in the Octavia, the Haldex 5-speed clutch is 1.4 kg lighter. It works without an accumulator and responds within milliseconds to all possible drive influences, which improves the vehicle's active safety and driving dynamics. In normal driving situations the engine drives the front wheels, but as soon as more torque is needed or the tyres need more grip the engine smoothly distributes the drive to include the rear wheels. If needed, the drive power then occurs almost exclusively via the rear wheels.

The all-wheel system is already active before the car starts to slip, so there is almost never any loss of traction. This is possible thanks to a pre-control dependent on the relevant driving condition. The pre-control unit will measure slip, current driving dynamics and drive torque. At low rpms or when coasting, the drive torque will be allocated mainly to the front wheels and the rear axle uncouples. It can be recoupled at any time within fractions of a second, namely via the Haldex clutch, which is actuated by an electromechanical oil pump.

The distribution of force over all four tyres always depends on the situation. The ideal torque for the rear axle is constantly calculated by the control unit. The torque for the rear axle is set using the variable contact pressure on the clutch plates. As a rule, the wheels do not spin if even when the Octavia Combi 4×4 starts up quickly or accelerates. The control unit also evaluates the wheel speeds and steering angle.

The third generation of the Octavia Combi 4×4 is usually equipped with an electronic differential lock (EDL) and the expanded XDS function. EDL and XDS are active for both the front and rear axles and ensure that the drive power is always ideally distributed over the four wheels. XDS ensures the vehicle's neutral curve behavior and a dynamic driving style. Gentle braking on the wheel on the inside allows the vehicle to increase the torque of the outside wheel. The resulting yaw moment helps turn the wheel and ensures safer and at the same time faster driving on curves. The more powerful the XDS, the more dynamically the vehicle drives through the curve.

Technology highlights of the new generation of engines

The petrol engines of the new Octavia Combi belong to Volkswagen Group's EA211 model series. These TSI four-valve four-cylinders set new standards regarding energy efficiency, lightweight design and pulling power. Reduced internal friction and weight as well as optimised thermal management provide for up to 17 % lower fuel consumption and emissions.

The EA211 engines are a completely new development. Compared to its predecessor the EA111, the EA211 series is significantly more compact, with installation length 50 mm shorter, thus offering more interior space. The installation position of the engines has also been optimised. Just as in the diesels, the petrol engines are now mounted with the exhaust side facing backwards and tilted at an angle of 12 degrees.

The weight of these petrol engines made of die-cast aluminium is only 97 kg for the 1.2 TSI and 106 kg for the 1.4 TSI. Compared to the EA111 predecessor engines used in the Octavia, this is a reduction of up to 22 kg. The crankshaft alone became lighter by 20 per cent; the connecting rods lost 30 per cent of their weight. In addition the connecting rod bearing journals are now hollow-drilled and pistons now come with flat bottoms, all of them optimised for lower weight.

Regarding thermal management, the EA211 petrol engine is equipped with a modern dual-circuit cooling system. That means that a high temperature circuit with a mechanically driven cooling pump cools the basic engine, while a low temperature circuit flows through the intercooler and the turbo-charger casing. The cylinder-head circuit heats the cabin's interior. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head, enabling the engine to warm up more quickly, in turn making heat available quickly for the passenger cabin. At high loads, the exhaust is cooled by the coolant, lowering fuel consumption.

The particularly economical diesel engines are from the EA288 model series. Compared to the previous generation, the fuel consumption of the new engines is lower by up to 0.8 l/100 km. Exhaust-relevant components, such as the injection system, the charging and the intercooling systems have been improved. Components for exhaust-gas aftertreatment, such as the oxidation catalyst and the diesel particulate filter, are now located closer to the engine. Piston rings with a lower pretension and particularly lowfriction roller contact bearings are used for the camshaft to reduce friction in the engine.

The new diesel engines also feature innovative thermal management. During the warming-up phase of the engine, separate circuits cool the cylinder head and the engine block, enabling the engines to reach their operating temperature much faster and the interior warms up much more quickly in winter.

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