Skoda has revealed details of its new compact hatchback.
The Scala is designed to take on the VW Golf, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Kia ceed in the tight C-segment.
The position was previously filed by the Rapid, which never really caught on in the UK but the Scala is all-new and Skoda hopes a blend of new styling and then latest tech will see it improve on that.
At 4.36m long and 1.8m wide the Scala slots between the Fabia and Octavia in the Skoda range. Like its stablemates, it aims to major on space and value for money, while setting out the brand’s future style and technological direction.
The Scala is longer and wider than the outgoing Rapid with a longer wheelbase offering more internal space. A quick poke around the interior at the unveiling revealed impressive leg and shoulder room for the segment. At 467 litres the boot is also class-leading, following the brand’s usual trick of offering more space than similarly priced rival models.
The styling is obviously Skoda. There are sharp edges and neat angles aplenty. The optional extended glass tailgate is reminiscent of the Volvo C30 – no bad thing – and carries the Skoda name script in full – a move other Skoda are set to follow.
As well as setting out the brand’s new offering, the Scala showcases new design cues and technology for the brand.
Central to both is a freestanding central touchscreen. Skoda says that by setting the screen apart from and high up in the dash it allows drivers and passengers a better view and easier access. It also means the screen can vary in size from 6.5 inches up to a class-leading 9.2 inches.
The screen hosts the always-connected internet-linked infotainment system. The Scala is the first car in the VW Group to get the latest version of the technology, which offers over-the-air updates, live traffic-based navigation and accident-activated emergency calling.
The Scala will also be available with a 10.25-inch configurable virtual cockpit, bringing the digital instruments first seen on the Audi TT to the Skoda compact hatch.
Bolstering the technological side of the Scala are standard fit lane assist and front assist (autonomous emergency braking) as well as the longer-range side assist and adaptive cruise control and optional full-LED adaptive headlights and multi-collision braking.
At launch the Scala will be offered with four engine options – three petrol and a lone diesel. The petrols start with two tunes of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, offering 94bhp matched to a five-speed transmission or 114bhp with a six-speed. The widely used 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 148bhp tops the petrol offering and is available with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox. The 114bhp 1.6-litre diesel comes with the six-speed manual or seven-speed auto transmissions.
Available as an option, the dynamic chassis control lowers the suspension by 15mm and offers standard or sport driving modes, along with eco and individual settings.
Prices and exact specifications are still to be confirmed but expect the Scala to go on sale around mid-2019 and to be keenly priced against its many rivals.