New Skoda Octavia India launch postponed owing to nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases

The India launch of the 2021 Skoda Octavia has been postponed in view of the terrifying spike in COVID-19 cases across the country. In a tweet published early on Thursday, Skoda India brand director Zac Hollis confirmed the decision to delay the launch of the new Octavia, which is one of four models the company has lined up for the Indian market in 2021. The previous-generation Skoda Octavia was discontinued before BS6 emission norms came into force in 2020, and the Octavia nameplate has been missing from the company’s India portfolio ever since.

In his tweet (which also included an illustrated video), Hollis said, “Sometimes, it’s important to take a pause and come back stronger. We at Skoda Auto have postponed the launch of the all-new Skoda Octavia until the current situation improves. We will keep you updated on the launch developments. Stay safe and let us do our part to fight this virus.”

Production of the new Octavia has already begun in India. The first unit of the 2021 Skoda Octavia rolled out of the company’s facility in Shendra, Aurangabad, earlier this month. It is unclear at this point when the Octavia’s market launch will take place, but with the virus spreading across the country at an alarming rate, it seems unlikely to happen anytime before the middle of 2021. This is also likely to have an impact on the company’s subsequent launches. The Skoda Kushaq was originally set for launch in July, the Skoda Kodiaq facelift by September and a new Skoda midsize sedan by the end of 2021.

The new Skoda Octavia is expected to only be offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine at launch. Image: Skoda

To recap, the new Skoda Octavia will be available only with a petrol engine option at the time of launch. However, Skoda has previously said it would evaluate demand for diesels in the higher segments, and could potentially bring back diesel engine options for its larger offerings including the Octavia.

While Skoda has confirmed the new Octavia will get the 190hp, 2.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine at launch, more engine options are likely to be offered going forward. Just like the previous Octavia – which was also available with a smaller 1.4-litre TSI engine – the new Octavia, too, is likely to receive a 150hp, 1.5-litre TSI (which will power the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun) sometime down the road as a more affordable alternative. As was the case with the outgoing Octavia, the new Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI is expected to be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 2.0 TSI is likely to get a seven-speed DSG automatic.

New Skoda Octavia prices are expected to be in the range of Rs 20-25 lakh (ex-showroom).

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