He added: "The Scala will help Skoda to change from a volume manufacturer to a global player". Scala is a Latin word that means "ladder", and represents Skoda's "next step forward in the compact segment" according to company boss Bernhard Maier. The design is heavily influenced by the Vision RS Concept shown off earlier in the year, although Skoda has said that a performance-oriented vRS version of the Scala is unlikely to come.
"Scala demonstrates a completely new interior concept, with new applications you would normally only expect in higher classes". Premium features like a heated steering wheel and ambient lighting bring in more up-market tech.
Initially, in the worldwide markets, four powertrain options will be offered - two 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol motors with power outputs ranging from 94bhp to 113bhp. It has a 5spd gearbox as standard while the 1.0TSi 115hp version will have either a 6spd manual or a 7spd DSG automatic. The engine features direct injection as well as a turbocharger and fulfils the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard. Buyers can also opt for an optional sport chassis, which will reduce the ride height by 15mm. A more powerful 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol motor with 148bhp will round off the petrol line-up.
The Scala also comes with many assistance systems which were previously available only for the higher-priced segments.
The Skoda Scala hatchback will be available in 3 trim levels - S, SE and SE L. The hatchback is equipped with several driver assist features like autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera and automatic park assist. The vehicle comes with up to nine airbags including one for the driver's knee.
The boot is available with up to three nets, four fastening points, storage compartments and bag hooks on both sides, a built-in light, top tether hooks, a barrier net, a double-sided floor liner, a 12V charging socket, and storage spaces for a first aid kit and emergency triangle. This serves to automatically close windows and reinforces tension on the front seat belts well before a collision can take place.
The Scala comes with optional 10.25 digital instrument cluster and 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with usual connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but this system comes with over-the-air updates, which is lacking in current generation systems and it can be connected to online always. 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.
Skoda says the new Scala engine range comprises three 1-liter and 1.5-liter TSI petrol engines as well as a 1.6-liter TDI diesel unit.