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Engine V6, limousine body and Ukrainian production: myths and facts about the Skoda Octavia I

Skoda Octavia has every reason to be considered one of the most important and “volume forming” models for a Czech manufacturer. For us, this car is also remarkable by the fact that Octavia was among the first foreign cars that came to our country with new ones, and not driven from abroad at the age of ten. Often, the first generation Octavia can be heard (or read) the most amusing myths and half-true rumors, including an unusual body type, heavy-duty engines, and much more. Today we will understand all this, separating the seeds of historical truth from the tares of fables and idle speculation. usually called the first-generation Octavia.

However, Octavia (from the Latin octo – “eight”) is not only an ancient Roman female name, which was worn by representatives of the Octavian clan, but also pleased with the old Skoda model, which in January of this year celebrated its sixtieth anniversary! There is no mistake here – the first Skoda Octavia with a tudor body (two-door sedan) under the factory designation Type 985 were actually released in early 1959 and held out on a conveyor belt in Mlada Boleslav until 1971.
And the number “eight” is not in vain in the “Latin” name of this car. After all, Octavia was the eighth model released after the Second World War, simultaneously being the eighth car in the entire history of the Czech brand, which received an independent suspension. For the first time, such a design on Skoda cars appeared in 1933.

When, after merging with the Volkswagen Group in 1992, work began on creating a fundamentally new model, the German partners approached the choice of the name with knowledge of the matter. After all, the use of the “historic” name Octavia helped to underline the duration of the Skoda itself, and also became a kind of tribute to the historical heritage of the Czech manufacturer.

So a completely new car received a name proven over the decades, which, however, was considered by the Czech motorists of the older generation and automobile historians to be the “old” one.

The history of decades: Octavia rustled tires on Prague paving 60 years ago!
For most, the name of the new Skoda sounded quite modern, new and fresh. So there was a confusion with the “point of reference” model Octavia, for which many take exactly the car, which debuted on April 4, 1996 – three and a half decades after the appearance of Octavia as such in the model range.

The post-socialist Octavia was preceded by the “transitional” model Felicia, created jointly with the Germans, but using the platform of the Czech Favorit hatchback, which was released in 1987. Kinship Felicia and Favorite was obvious in appearance, and just it misled many motorists. After all, the restyled Felicia sample of 1998 and the dorestayling Octavia, the release of which began in 1996, had exactly the same “facial expression”.

During the update, Felicia received the same front as the Octavia. But many for some reason thought the opposite

It was possible to get rid of the similarity with the older sister of Octavia only after restyling (car in the foreground)
But on this their similarity ended! After all, neither the body structure, nor the platform, nor the power units of these models were common. The new Octavia was initially widely unified with other Volkswagen cars, as it was created on a single A4 platform (PQ34), designed specifically for the VW Group golf class cars. Interestingly, the new Czech car did not receive “leftovers from the master’s table”, but a completely modern product of engineering, dividing the platform with fellow concern companies that came out at the same time as Octavia (Volkswagen Golf / Bora Mk4 1J, Audi A3 Mk1 8L and Seat Leon Mk1 1M), or even a couple of years later (VW Beetle and Audi TT).

The PQ34 platform has become common to many VW Group cars.

With all the external dissimilarity with the Octavia and the Audi TT and the VW Beetle were quite close relatives of this Skoda

Because of the protruding trunk, many perceived this model as a sedan, but in fact the Octavia was a liftback …

… and then a wagon (Combi)
That is why the new liftback in terms of design was quite comparable with the more eminent platform competitors. Based on the internal “table of ranks”, Skoda was only slightly easier to trim and therefore turned out to be a bit cheaper than cars from Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt.

After restyling, the Octavia A4 was not too inferior to the Golf and others like them. And in the RS version (the first photo) it looked altogether “grown-up”


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