IT'S 60 years since Skoda launched the original Octavia and come 2020 a new, fourth generation model will be on the road.
Due to be revealed in November the Czech car maker has just released the first images of the latest Octavia in camouflaged coverings.
The new car is almost an inch longer than the current version, has more room inside and its boot has also grown, keeping its reputation as the largest load lugger in its class.
Technology highlights include LED headlights, a shift-by-wire system on auto versions and a head-up display - the first time Skoda has used the driver information display.
And on the Simply Clever front - a set of features for which Skoda has become renowned - the new Octavia can be fitted with a Sleep Pack which includes a blanket that can be attached to the rear seat.
That's in addition to other handy features such as an umbrella stowed in the driver's door and an ice scraper concealed on the inside of the fuel filler flap.
As before, the Octavia will be available in both hatch and estate body styles with the latter having a load capacity of 640 litres. The boot space on the hatch is now 600 litres while rear legroom - another strong point of the car - has also been increased to offer almost four inches of kneeroom.
Bernhard Maier, Skoda's chief executive, said: "Over the last six decades, the Octavia has contributed to the positive development of the company and the brand. I am very confident that thenew generation will play its part in maintaining this positive development."
A plug-in hybrid version will be available later next year and the new Octavia will also come with the option of mild-hybrid powertrains on versions fitted with DCT automatic transmissions.
That system - which uses a 48-volt set up - will be available on 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol models while three diesel engines will also be on offer with the range toppers will be fitted with a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine with 190ps on tap and mated to four-wheel-drive.
On the safety front Skoda is fitting the new Octavia with a collision avoidance system which can intervene if it detects an accident is imminent as well as an exit warning set up to alert passengers that it is not safe to open a door,
"The safety of our cars and their passengers, as well as other road users, is top priority at Skoda," said Christian Strube, Skoda's director of technical development. "With the new safety and assistance systems of the fourth Octavia generation, such as Collision Avoidance Assist and the Exit Warning system, we have raised the Octavia to a new level and made it one of the safest cars within its segment."
The latest Octavia will have its world premiere in Prague on November 10 and is due for release early next year.