Skoda Laura to Co-Exist with the All New 2013 Octavia in India until lower variants of the new model are launched
Skoda India will continue with the strategy that it employed with the First-Generation Octavia (The Mark-I Octavia) and Current Laura (Second-Generation Octavia Worldwide, Mark-II Octavia) in India, of selling successive generations of the same car simultaneously in the Indian market. The company intends to keep both the current Laura and the soon-to-be launched in India all-new Third Generation, Mark-III, Skoda Octavia on sale simultaneously, in the Indian market for a few months after the launch of the new Octavia.
The company plans to discontinue the higher spec trim levels of the Laura in order to make room for the new Octavia. The new Octavia will initially be launched into the Indian market in fully-loaded, top-of-the line versions, and will be positioned as a premium offering in the D-Segment, Executive Saloon space. The company hopes to have the lower and middle spec variants of the Laura positioned in the 14 – 16 Lakh Price bracket, leaving enough room for Skoda to position the higher spec variants of the New Octavia in the 17 – 20 Lakh Price bracket.
Skoda will slowly phase out the Laura from the Indian market, when it is ready to launch the lower and middle spec variants of the new Octavia. The new Octavia will intially be offered with a sole petrol and diesel engine option, but with higher Power and Torque outputs over the engines found in the current Laura.
The 1.8 TSI petrol motor of the new Octavia is a part of the Volkswagen Group’s new EA 211 model series of engines. The EA 211 series engines feature TSI technology, higher energy efficiency, a lightweight design and superior pulling power, when compared with the previous EA 111 series of engines. The EA 211 series engines are also much lighter when compared with the EA 111 series engines, which is a part of the reason for the new Octavia’s superior performance and efficiency over the previous Octavia (Laura in India).
The 1.8 Litre TSI in the new Octavia will output a Peak Power of 180 PS; 20 PS more than the 1.8 TSI of the current Laura, and a Peak Torque of 250 Nm between 1250 and 5000 Rpm. With these output figures and the significant savings in weight that have been achieved by the use of the VW group’s MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten in German or Modular Transverse Matrix) platform, the new Octavia 1.8 TSI should easily be the fastest accelerating and the quickest saloon in its class. Skoda could offer the 1.8 TSI petrol motor with a 6-Speed Manual and a 7-Speed DSG Auto box as the transmission options.
The 2.0 TDI Diesel motor of the new Octavia is a part of the Volkswagen group’s new EA 288 model series of engines. The EA 288 series engines feature lower fuel consumption, an improved fuel injection system and more efficient turbo charging and intercooling systems. The EA 288 series engines also feature better thermal management and exhaust-gas after treatment, which enables them to reach their operating temperature quicker and spew out lesser tailpipe emissions.
The 2.0 TDI Diesel mill of the new Octavia will output a Peak Power of 150 PS; 10 PS more than the current Laura’s 2.0 motor, and a Peak Torque of 320 Nm between 1750 and 3000 Rpm. With the new motor’s higher output figures, the new Skoda Octavia will be able to close down the performance gap to the Chevrolet Cruze on the spec sheet and out on the road. The 2.0 TDI diesel motor could continue to be offered with the same 6-Speed Manual and 6-Speed DSG Auto as on the current Laura.
Skoda India will be hoping that the new Octavia creates the same magic that the Mark-I Octavia created in India, and will be looking to it to grow its volumes and bring some life back to the D-Segment Saloon space, which in recent times has shrunken in volume due to the advent of crossovers like the Mahindra XUV 500. With two offerings in the D-Segment from 14 Lakhs all the way to 20 Lakhs, Skoda is on the hunt for a bigger chunk of volumes, but could this move also backfire on Skoda India? You can let us know what you think in the comments below.
Source TheAutocarShow on BloombergUTV