The all-new Skoda Slavia has made its world premiere in India. The Czech carmaker reveals its first, new-from-the-ground-up sedan for the Indian market since the Rapid was introduced nearly a decade ago. The Skoda Slavia is the third model to use the Volkswagen Group’s tailored-for-India MQB A0 IN platform – the first two are the Kushaq and the Volkswagen Taigun midsize SUVs pre-bookings for the Slavia open today, with the launch set to take place early in 2022.

The Slavia – which derives design inspiration from the much larger Skoda Octavia and Skoda Superb sedans and bears plenty of traditional Skoda cues – measures 4,541 mm in length and 1,752 mm in width 1,487 mm in height, making it one of the biggest sedans in its class. The Slavia’s 2,651 mm wheelbase is also among the largest in the midsize sedan segment, and it has an enormous 521-litre boot, further boosting its practicality quotient.

The Slavia will be offered in three trim levels – Active, Ambition and Style – and available in five colours, including Crystal Blue, which is exclusive to the sedan.

The Slavia name, says Skoda, has been chosen as an ode to its past, as company founders Václav Laurin and Václav Klement had marketed their bicycles under the same name in 1896. While the company has refrained from giving too much away at this point, it says its new ‘notchback’ will be ‘an elegant, powerful and safe saloon car’ that will follow in the footsteps of the more significant, more powerful and more luxurious Skoda Octavia and Skoda Superb sedans. Skoda says the Slavia wants to focus equally on driving pleasure and rear-seat comfort, with space for rear passengers being among the top priorities during the development of the Slavia.

The Slavia’s interior is similar to the Kushaq with several elements – such as the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, two-spoke steering wheel, a touch-sensitive climate control panel and vital control switches – carried over from the midsize SUV. Still, the Slavia has different AC vents and different dashboard trim as well. In terms of equipment, the top-spec Slavia will have ventilated front seats, a reverse camera, and an eight-inch full-digital instruments display, something that’s missing from the Kushaq.

In terms of safety equipment, the fully-loaded Slavia will come with six airbags, vehicle stability management, ABS with EBD, traction control, hill hold control, tyre pressure monitor, and multi-collision braking. Electronic stability control will be standard across the range.

Like the Kushaq, the Skoda Slavia will be offered two turbo-petrol engine options – a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI that makes 110 hp and 175 Nm of torque, and a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder TSI producing 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. A six-speed manual will be available with both engines; the 1.0 TSI will have the option of a six-speed torque converter automatic, while the 1.5 TSI – aimed at driving enthusiasts – will be available with a seven-speed DSG automatic (with paddle shifters). There will be no diesel engine on offer, but the 1.5-liter TSI will feature active cylinder deactivation tech, which will help boost fuel efficiency.

Expect Skoda Slavia prices to range from Rs 10-17 lakh (ex-showroom), which will enable it to go head-on against the fifth-generation Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, and Toyota Belta. It will also compete against its cousin from Volkswagen, which will be based on the same platform, and is expected to be launched a little after the Slavia.

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