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Skoda Scala breaks cover

By Tim Robson, 07 Dec 2018 Car News

Skoda Scala breaks cover

The VW Golf and Mazda 3 have a new rival from the Czech Republic. Meet the new, slightly oversized Skoda Scala hatchback

It’s been a rapid progression from concept to reality for the new Skoda Scala hatchback. Based on the Fusion RS concept that broke cover in July, the Scala will take on the big dogs of the passenger car segment like the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30 when it hits Aussie roads in late 2020.

Skoda is part of the Volkswagen empire, and thus shares some parts with a couple VW-badged products. Its underpinnings, for example, are based on those used for the smaller VW Polo, but size-wise, the Scala is actually slightly bigger than the Volkswagen Golf.

Read next: Skoda to add new small hatch SUV in 2019

It’s around 110mm longer overall and 21mm taller, with a visibly flatter roofline than the sleeker looking Golf. Visually its high roof/low sides visage connects with the car it replaces, the Fabia, but it’s much less gawpy and unusual.

Skoda announced that the Scala would launch overseas with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in a couple of states of tune, as well as a four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel.

We’d wager that, for Australia, the 85kW three-cylinder will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with a possibility of a six-speed manual option, while the 110kW 1.5-litre petrol – complete with cylinder deactivation tech – will be a dual-clutch-only option. Diesel? Don’t count on it.

Read next: Skoda introduces three- and five-year capped price servicing schemes

Skoda Australia has already suggested that it has its hands up for the Scala, and spokesperson Kurt McGuiness told WhichCar that, while specs aren’t settled, the Scala will be a good fit for the brand’s current passenger car line-up, which includes the Octavia and Superb.

“It’s 12 months away,” he said. “We’ll open the order books in the fourth quarter of 2019.”

McGuiness wouldn’t be drawn on specs for the Scala, but he did suggest that the new, more stringent fuel economy testing regime – colloquially known as the WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure) – may impact what powertrains are available to Australia.

“It’s too soon to say what the specs will be offered for Australia, but we’ll need to take into account the current backlog of WLTP testing for all manufacturers,” he explained.

The new test standards take more than twice as long to execute and verify, and have already seen several VW models deleted from the local line-up.

Regardless, McGuiness is confident that the Scala is a good fit… literally. “Given it’s a little bit bigger than the Golf, we reckon it’ll be a good option for the Australian market,” he said.