The New Skoda Octavia | Part Five

The New Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

Interior Design

The interior of the new Skoda Octavia excels with more than ample space in both the front and rear. The new, advanced design combined with top-quality materials produce a relaxed and cozy environment for the driver and passengers. The numerous useful storage compartments will please passengers.

The instrument panel is a perfect example of progressive architecture; it has an attractive, elegant design and is well arranged. Its surface is soft and touch-friendly. This lining extends down to the central tunnel. Decorative trims on the instrument panel and doors refresh the interior environment. All control elements can be easily reached by the driver and are well arranged.

Like the winged engine bonnet that protrudes above the body surface, one of the main elements of the interior is the centre console. The control elements of the audio, navigation, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other buttons have been ergonomically arranged on the central console. This console blends smoothly into a tunnel that passes between the front seats and extends to the rear seats where it ends in a storage box (or an optional ashtray); the Ambiente and Elegance has a Jumbo-Box - a large air-conditioned storage box with adjustable outlets for air distribution to the rear seats. The box lid can simultaneously be used as an adjustable armrest. A useful storage box is located in the centre of the instrument panel above the central console.

The new and very attractive four-spoke steering wheel has been carefully designed to comply with ergonomic requirements. The design of the gear lever as well as the that of the steering wheel are emphasise the interior concept. The well-arranged instrument panel is dominated by large circular indicators for the speedometer and rev counter, with raised numbers. During night driving the instruments and control elements have the typical green illumination that does not disturb or divert the driver's attention even during a long drive.

The ceiling has a longitudinal tunnel that begins at the windscreen and runs between the front seats to the rear passenger section where it terminates in a small interior light. This produces the impression of a separate cockpit for the driver and front passenger (on Ambiente and Elegance).

The attractive design of the door panels are covered with top-quality materials and a pleasant texture underlines the coziness of the interior. The comfortable interior is further stressed by various details including chrome plated inner door handles with a touch-friendly, soft silicone lining inside (Ambiente and Elegance). One of many innovations of the Skoda Octavia interior is a red blinking signaling diode in the driver's door, which replaces the door lock knobs.

Chassis Design

A significant improvement in body rigidity has been achieved, which is reflected in the enhanced driving characteristics and increased passive safety. Because of the solid anti-corrosion body protection using galvanized sheets and the thorough application of anticorrosion layers during painting, Skoda provides twelve-year anti-corrosion protection.

Skoda cars are well known for their top-quality manufacture and the new Skoda Octavia confirms this. This is proved by the perfect fit of individual body parts with minimum gaps and the use of new technologies during manufacture such as laser welding between the roof and the sides of the car - this makes the transition between the roof and the sides of the car smooth and clean without the usual roof moulding. This thorough attention to manufacturing and, in particular, the carefully designed body shape have resulted in positive aerodynamic characteristics, which significantly contribute to the overall economical operation of the car - the air resistance coefficient Cd = 0.30.

Particular attention has been paid to details. An example is the door sealing which has been doubled. The door opening is sealed using the standard main sealing on the inner edge of the doorframe. The doors also have an additional seal, which is assembled close to the body surface and embraces the whole door. This seal fills up gaps between the doors and other body parts. This positively influences the aerodynamic characteristics of the car and reduces wind noise in addition to reducing soiling of doorsills and columns.

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

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