Published on March 15th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
Long Wheelbase Skoda Octavia Pro Destined For China
The Pro moniker for the Skoda Octavia adds 44 mm to the wheelbase of the standard model.
It is no secret that the Chinese seem to have a thing for long and large cars. An observation backed up by the fact that there are so many automakers producing slightly longer wheelbase variants of their existing lineup exclusively for China, with the latest offering being from Skoda with its recent launch of the Octavia Pro over there.
Essentially a slightly stretched version of the Czech automaker’s best selling car, the headline addition with the Pro moniker to the Octavia name is perhaps the addition of 44 mm in length to its wheelbase and a total of 64 mm to its overall length. Interestingly, Skoda has also fitted this longer wheelbase Octavia with the fancier multi-link rear suspension setup. A feature that is only to be found in the higher-end models of international market Octavias.
Now aside from those aforementioned major body mods, a few exterior enhancements have incidentally been thrown in too as standard during the stretching process of the Octavia Pro, just to further differentiate it from its short wheelbase counterpart. These exterior add-ons include sleeker, sportier front and rear bumpers from the Octavia RS, as well as a black roof, black side mirror caps and alloy wheels of up to 18-inches in diameter.
Moving inside, the Octavia Pro nets a 12-inch central infotainment screen as standard, in addition to the option of a sportier three-spoke steering wheel and fully digital 10.25-inch instrument cluster. Naturally, this stretched Skoda also boasts more rear seat leg room courtesy of the aforementioned 44 mm of the wheelbase extension that was all added to the rear passenger compartment.
As for what lies under the hood of the Octavia Pro, this stretched Skoda retains the same 1.4 litre turbocharged TSI four-cylinder that outputs 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. Sending power to the front wheels meanwhile will be the responsibility of a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, which now features a button operated shift-by-wire system as opposed to a traditional gear lever in the centre console.
To be built through the SAIC-Volkswagen joint venture, the Octavia Pro is estimated to cost from 110,000 yuan (RM 70,000) when it goes on sale over in China next month. The standard Octavia on the other hand will still continued to be sold there, though now with a slightly lower starting price than before of 99,000 yuan (RM 63,000).
While this Octavia Pro will certainly add to Skoda’s tally of the some 1.4 million of Octavias already sold in China, it is nevertheless worth asking whether the marginal increase in rear leg room is actually worth the additional expense. This is especially considering that the standard Octavia isn’t a particularly cramped car after all.
Moreover for those in China who want a bigger Skoda, what about the slightly more expensive Passat-sized Superb then?
PRESS RELEASE: The ŠKODA OCTAVIA is the Czech carmaker’s bestseller. Chinese customers have bought 1.4 million of the more than 6.8 million contemporary OCTAVIA cars sold. That is one reason why Chinese customers will now have the chance to buy the new OCTAVIA PRO, which is tailor-made for them. The original generation of the OCTAVIA model will still be available as well, though.
The OCTAVIA PRO for the Chinese market is 64 mm longer than the classic fourth-generation OCTAVIA. And at 2,730 millimetres, its wheelbase is 44 mm longer. Another interesting comparison is with its predecessors: compared to the third-generation OCTAVIA, the OCTAVIA PRO is 78 mm longer.
The OCTAVIA PRO has been given dynamically shaped bumpers in the style of the OCTAVIA RS sports model. These bumpers underline the car’s overall dynamic looks.
Just like the standard version, the OCTAVIA PRO has an emotive design that brings to mind a coupé body. The car’s dynamic looks were enhanced by details like the black roof, black exterior rear-view mirrors and the up to 18-inch wheel rims.
The ŠKODA OCTAVIA PRO is a world-beater in back seat space. All 44 millimetres of the extended wheelbase are devoted to giving more room to passengers in the back.
The OCTAVIA PRO’s dashboard is dominated by the 12-inch touch display with state-of-the-art always-online infotainment. Chinese customers will therefore be able to make full use of various online functions, some of which are again tailor-made for the local market.
While the standard European version of the OCTAVIA comes with the option of a two-spoke steering wheel, Chinese customers will get the sportier three-spoke design. All the traditional controls will be to hand, executed in the brand’s own crystalline design.
The new model is powered by the popular four-cylinder 1.4 TSI engine that delivers 110 kW of power output and 250 Nm of torque and is hooked up to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. Like its European counterpart, the OCTAVIA PRO’s transmission uses an electronic shift-by-wire system. The OCTAVIA PRO also comes with multi-link rear axle suspension as standard.