The new Skoda Octavia seen through its designers' eyes

At first glance subtle, at second glance highly sophisticated. Those two words describe the changes to the looks of the bestselling Škoda Octavia. Let the designers talk you through them.

“It might not seem so at first glance, but the entire front end of the car is completely new. Everything from the edge of the bonnet downwards has been reworked,” says Alexander Leicht, who was responsible for modernising this part of the car. In particular, he emphasises the way its surfaces have been made “cleaner”. 

The lower mesh in the bumper, for example, now extends from one corner of the front to the other, following the example of the larger Superb, accentuating the width of the car. “The new design of the parts known as air curtains gives the front end a sportier and more dynamic look compared to the Superb, though. The air curtains are also larger and contribute to improved airflow,” says Leicht, pointing out their principal function.

Alexander Leicht was mainly involved in the facelift of the front of the car.

More light and sportier looks

The car’s main distinguishing feature probably won’t be the bumper, however, but rather the headlights. “They now seem to embrace the radiator grille, and both the basic and the Full LED Matrix versions have new light signatures that emphasise the lines and this “embracing effect,” Leicht explains. The Full LED Matrix light has a new multi-segment technology and the Crystallinium design element, which has already been featured on the new-generation Superb and Kodiaq models. The radiator grille itself is also new: it has a thinner, more subtle frame, its slats are more upright and their centre angle is more closely aligned to other lines on the nose. But the four-eyed headlight design typical of the Octavia is still there.

The RS sports version has also been given a facelift, and here too the changes are mainly to the front end. Needless to say, the headlamps have been redesigned, as has the glossy black grille with the RS badge. The bumper has been given a very specific shape, different from the other versions. “This emphasises the car’s width, but at the same time we want the details to underline the car’s dynamic character,” explains Jounggeen Kim, the designer responsible for the look of the updated Octavia RS. Kim goes on to say that the bumper’s black surfaces help to add dynamism to this part of the car, emphasise the proportions and create a bold contrast with the areas painted in the bodywork colour. “The inspiration here comes from aircraft wing shapes,” he says.

Jounggeen Kim was responsible for the looks of the innovated Octavia RS.

At the rear of the Octavia there are new taillights and, of course, the Škoda lettering in the Czech carmaker’s new visual style. “The design of the rear lights has changed: now the direction indicators are now exclusively horizontal, while crystalline elements inside the lights more closely matched the segmented C-shaped signature. The spoiler formed by the rear lights has been aerodynamically optimised,” says Karel Linhart, who was responsible for the changes to the rear of the car. 

Karel Linhart’s role in the modernisation focused on the rear of the car.

He also worked on the new rear bumper. “I tried to extend that continuity to the side lines of the doors and sill, and we played a lot with the surfaces. These are generally sleeker, but achieving a minimalist look that doesn’t come across as plain and drab was the hardest part,” Linhart says. That’s why the horizontally aligned rear bumper uses sophisticated mouldings, edges and even concave surfaces. The rear reflectors are incorporated into the diffuser area, reinforcing the “hugging” impression of the painted part of the bumper.

More sustainable interior

There are also changes to the modernised Octavia’s interior, including new, more sustainable materials, four trim levels and a total of nine Design Selections, which determine the overall interior ambience. Customers can choose upholstery versions made from eco-tanned leather, for example, or textiles made from recycled materials. One attractive new feature is the Dark Chrome detailing instead of the existing bright chrome elements.

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