Mention the name Skoda Octavia to any performance enthusiast in the country and watch him go into a dreamy state about high-capacity engines, taut suspension and German-level build quality. However, there is something that no one would dare associate with the likes of a performance-oriented sedan like the Octavia - CNG. While many owners have converted their pride and joy to run on compressed natural gas from a third party, there is no such kit available as standard from factory in India. Well all that could now well change because Skoda has expanded its CNG vehicle line-up in the European market and introduced the Skoda Octavia G-Tec.
While things remain largely unchanged with design and equipment levels, what has changed is the heart of the beast. The Skoda Octavia G-Tec gets a new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that has the ability to run on CNG and petrol, with the capacity to produce 130bhp. The total fuel range that Skoda claims is 690km, out of which it can do 500km on CNG alone. How it manages to do so is with a total of three CNG tanks with a capacity of 17.3kg and one petrol tank with a capacity of 9-litres. The Octavia G-Tec gives preference to CNG, however, it can be run on just petrol in places with no CNG supply. If you do happen to run out of CNG while driving, the car automatically switches to petrol mode for the utmost convenience. If we talk about benefits, the Octavia G-Tec is up to 25 per cent more CO2 efficient when run on CNG, compared to running on petrol. Even Nitrous Oxide levels are considerably reduced, with no particulate emissions either. If we talk about fuel efficiency, the Octavia G-Tec returns a mileage of 21.8km/l in pure petrol mode, while pure CNG mode can ferry you upto 27.7km/kg.
With the added fuel tanks on board, you might also be wondering about cargo space and practicality. Well, as we mentioned that this is no aftermarket kit and Skoda has definitely thought all this through. All four tanks are strategically placed in order to balance out weight distribution and space. Two of the CNG tanks are even made out of a new composite material blend in order to make them ultra lightweight. Despite two CNG tanks invading space in the boot, the Octavia G-Tec gets a cargo space of 455-litre. As of now, there are concrete plans of bringing the Octavia G-Tec to India. However, given our love for high fuel efficiency and ever expanding CNG infrastructure, bringing the Octavia G-Tec into our market completely makes sense.