The New Skoda Octavia | Part Four

Design

The design of the new car with its timeless elegance shows that it is a member of the Skoda family and the Octavia range, with more dynamism and informal charm added. The car has a highly reliable and attractive appearance. Although the new Skoda Octavia's technical parameters are derived from the lower medium-class segment, its dimensions, dynamic and simultaneously smooth shapes and its overall expression definitely produce the impression of a car from the medium class segment.

The preceding generation Octavia had a classical elegance and an extremely successful design. The design of the new car has evolved from its predecessor but the characteristic features are still there; no radical change has been made. A significant advance has been made in highlighting the emotional impression. Balanced dimensions mutually blend smooth and gently sharp lines to produce a harmonious figure. With its striking, dynamic expression, the Octavia produces the image of a classic notchback.

Exterior Design

The dominating feature of the car's front section is the iconic radiator grille with a chrome frame, vertical fins and the Skoda logo, the design of which reflects the long and rich history of Skoda. The grille blends perfectly with the car's design and is an integral part of it. Positioned at the front, the radiator grille determines the character of the entire car. It is large and produces a highly self-confident and ambitious impression. The front bumper has been fully integrated into the car's shape without the normal joint at the body. Its integration stresses the monolithic and clean-lined body design.

A traditional element of Skoda cars are the horizontal lines on the bonnet running from the logo and the radiator grille. The bonnet itself, which is "V" shaped, creates the image of a large car and its winged design symbolises its speed and dynamism. In addition, the bonnet shape makes the "V" look wider producing a feeling of strength and reliability.

The clear-optic headlights extend as far as the body sides, making it optically wider. This effect is emphasised at night because of the location of the sidelights in the indicators module. The fog lamps are perfectly located in the bottom part of the bumper and their shape, location and size clearly emphasise the strength of the car's front.

The transition between the body and the A pillar is continuous and carefully shaped to look as if it is moulded. The edge of the bonnet in front of the windscreen has sufficient space to easily accommodate the progressive aero-wipers so they produce no aerodynamic resistance in the off position.

A dominating feature of the side view is an elegant arch coming from the A pillar through the roof to the C pillar giving the car a sporty look. The C pillar, the lower section of which slopes backwards, makes the interior look longer. The flat, elongated roof combined with the wedge-shaped lines of the side profile also lend the car's outline its dynamic character. Laser welding makes the transition between the roof and the sides of the car absolutely precise and smooth. The solid body has been lightened by a side rim that comes from the headlight to the rear lights. The extended doorsills produce the impression that the car has been built on a reliable base. Side indicators have been integrated into the door mirrors, which contributes to the smooth design of the wings.

An original design element, which distinctly distinguishes the new generation Skoda Octavia from other current cars, is the newly conceived B pillar. It particularly enhances a typical Skoda design element - the body-coloured B pillar tapering upwards. Its taper is even more distinct in the new car and is further stressed by the rounded window corners. The design of the B pillar thus emphasises the impression of the solid, monolithic design of the body.

The rear window blends smoothly into the edge of the boot lid that sharply terminates the rear of the car. This edge positively influences the aerodynamic characteristics of the car in addition to emphasising its dynamic design. As with the front bumper, the rear bumper has been clearly integrated into the overall design of the car and has an opening for the tailpipe.

The shape of the rear lights and the way they are illuminated are a typical element of the new car. When the lights are on, the overall red area, which is "C" shaped, frames the white central part incorporating the direction indicator and the reversing light. This produces an eye-catching impression. The brake and fog lamps have been integrated into the rear light area. Because their shape extends to the sides of the car the rear lights have a remarkably spatial effect. The integrated rear lights are high and perfectly visible.

continues... | Part Five
Published 31 May 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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