Skoda Scala Hatchback Unveiled: Walkaround

The Skoda Scala is due on sale in 2019

Skoda plans for turbocharged petrol engines to dominate the Scala line-up when it adds the new hatchback to its range in 2019. Fold them down and you get 1,410 litres or 30 more than in the Rapid Spaceback.

"The Scala perfectly embodies the Skoda-typical "smart understatement".

The Scala's design was previewed by the striking Vision RS concept from this year's Paris motor show, but, unsurprisingly, it has been toned down for the production version. It has the name "Skoda" written across the tailgate instead of the logo.

In the design reminiscent of the concept auto Vision RS, shown in October 2018 at the Paris motor show. Buyers can order alloy wheels ranging up to 18in in diameter, too. The setup is quite minimalistic but again uses varied surfacing to bring a more premium feel.

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There are three petrol engines available: a 70kW/175Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder with a five-speed manual, a more powerful 85kW/200Nm version of that engine, and a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder. The 1.0-litre petrol engine will come with two states-of-tune producing 99bhp and 115bhp; the 1.5-litre petrol produces 150bhp and the lone 1.6-litre diesel unit churns out 115bhp. However, the G-TEC engine, which makes 90 PS and 145 Nm of torque, will only be available sometime next year. The CNG variant will be launched later in 2019. The Scala shares the same benefits, but keener drivers can opt for the new Sport Chassis Control, which lowers ride height by 15 mm. This allows the driver to switch between the two driving modes available - Normal and Sport.

Skoda has also laid emphasis on making the Scala one of the safest option in its segment by fitting the vehicle with safety tech like lane assist, side assist, autonomous emergency braking, crew protect assist, adaptive cruise control and up to nine airbags. There are LED head and tail lights, ambient lighting, nine airbags and a full suite of safety features like adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and so on. This serves to automatically close windows and reinforces tension on the front seat belts well before a collision can take place. The Scala also comes with the optional Simply Clever feature; an electronically retractable tow bar hidden beneath the rear bumper. There's an optional all-digital instrument cluster measuring 10.25 inches and a 9.2-inch touchscreen for the next-gen infotainment with support for over-the-air updates and always online functionality.

With the Scala, Skoda seems to be betting big on redefining the A segment of vehicles as the new hatchback promises to set new benchmarks among its rivals; worldwide market launch in the first half of 2019.

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