Several months after the fourth-generation Skoda Octavia made its debut, the company has now released a new G-Tec variant of the five-door family sedan. Powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), the Octavia G-Tec will be launched across Europe this autumn and promises to be kinder to the environment when compared to its petrol-powered siblings.
From the outside, the G-Tec variant looks like a regular Octavia, with only a dedicated badge located at the rear to identify it. More significant are the three tanks installed in the underbody that can store a total of 17.33 kg of CNG and nine litres of petrol, which the car can draw fuel from depending on the situation.
According to the Czech carmaker, the car only accesses the petrol fuel supply when the engine is started after the CNG has been topped up, when the outside temperature is below -10 degrees Celsius, or when the gas tanks are so empty that the pressure drops below 11 bar.
Both fuel types are fed to a 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder TSI Miller-cycle engine that makes 130 PS (129 hp), which offers up to 500 km of range when running on CNG only following the WLTP cycle, or up to 190 km with just petrol. As a result, the combined total range is close to 700 km, and switching between the fuels happens automatically without driver intervention.
In CNG mode, CO2 emissions are 25% lower than those of a conventional petrol engine and the company notes that using 20% bio-CNG – common in Germany – the car’s carbon footprint can be improved by as much as 40%. This goes up further up to 90% with fuel mixtures that have an even higher percentage of bio-CNG.
There is a downside with the G-Tec variant, and that is boot space. With the additional fuel tanks in place, the sedan can only hold 455 litres, which is 145 litres less than a regular, petrol-powered Octavia. This applies to the Combi wagon body style too, as it has just 495 litres of boot capacity in G-Tec guise compared to 640 litres with the normal version.
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