The sketches of the hatchback version reveal an update of Skoda’s design language with pronounced body creases, a thicker edge to the grille and more complex structure to the front end.
At the back the taillights extend onto the hatch, giving a more sophisticated look that makes a stronger visual link to the Octavia’s bigger sibling, the Superb.
Skoda has reverted back to single headlamp units after splitting them in the current model.
“The design language exudes more emotional appeal than ever before,” Skoda said in a statement.
The new car will come in both station wagon and hatchback versions. The powertrain lineup is expected to include a plug-in hybrid variant for the first time, as well as gasoline and diesel versions. A faster RS version (vRS in the UK) is also likely to return.
The Octavia was the biggest seller in Skoda’s range in the first nine months of the year, representing almost 30 percent of deliveries at 268,900. The number declined by 9.6 percent, partly because of a weaker demand for Skoda models in China, which is the brand’s largest single market, according to company figures.
In Europe Skoda through August sold 156,422 Octavias, slightly up on the previous year, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. The car was the top-seller in Austria, Switzerland, Finland, the Czech Republic and Poland in the first eight months.
The strong sales come despite the model nearing the end of its eight-year model cycle, a pattern Skoda has followed since reviving the nameplate in 1996.
The wagon version was Europe’s best-selling wagon in the first half of the year. It outsells the hatchback by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
The new model will again be built at Skoda’s Mlada Boleslav plant on the VW Group’s MQB architecture. The car is expected to offer much of the advanced infotainment shared with the new VW Golf.
New features are likely to include over-the-air updates for the navigation system as well more controls on the infotainment screen.
Skoda described the car has offering “a very generous amount of interior space.