2011 Skoda Octavia Scout – Click above for high-res image

If you want a Volkswagen, you'll buy a Volkswagen. Right? That may be simple enough in the North American market, but overseas buyers can opt for Seat or Skoda versions of the same vehicles. Seats often offer more power and sportiness compared to the VW models they're based on, while Skoda tends to offer a lower price point with more space and equipment. In this case, Skoda has announced the availability of a new all-wheel drive system on a variety of its models.

The fourth-generation Haldex system is similar to those used in transverse-engined models from other Volkswagen Group models like the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 and TT, unlike the Torsen systems found in longitudinally-engined cars like Audi's sedans. The addition of the system to the Superb and Octavia – along with a new 2.0-liter TDI with DSG – joins the Yeti in the Czech brand's line-up of all-wheel drive models.

The system channels up to 96% of power to the front wheels – effectively shutting down the all-wheel drive system – under normal conditions, and kicks in under limited-traction circumstances. Details in the press release after the jump.


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[Source: Skoda]
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NEW 4X4 DRIVETRAIN FOR ŠKODA SUPERB AND OCTAVIA MODELS
  • Automatic DSG transmission now offered with 2.0 TDI CR 140bhp four-wheel drive on Octavia and Superb model lines
  • Extended portfolio of engines with automatic transmission and four-wheel drive
  • Available from November 2010, prices starting at£21,705
Building on its multi-award winning product line-up, Škoda has announced the introduction of a four-wheel drive 2.0 TDI CR 140bhp engine with automatic DSG transmission to hatchback and estate versions of the Superb, Octavia Estate and Octavia Scout.

The advanced four-wheel drive system is designed to tackle those challenging conditions that would leave two-wheel drive competitors stranded. Power distribution is controlled electronically by a fourth-generation Haldex clutch. Under normal traction conditions, 96% of the total power is directed to the front axle. In adverse weather conditions – similar to those experienced in the UK last winter – the Haldex system reacts in a split second to redirect power to those wheels with better traction, greatly increasing driving safety.

The 4×4′s capabilities aren't limited to wintery conditions. In summer months the 4×4 technology will ensure that towing caravans and trailers is easier and safer, and because drive to the rear wheels is disengaged when not required, there's little adverse effect on fuel consumption.

The introduction of an automatic twin-clutch DSG gearbox to the existing 2.0 TDI CR 140bhp engine adds to Škoda's broad range of four-wheel drive cars which now includes Octavia Estate, Octavia Scout, Yeti, Superb hatch, and Superb Estate.

Available to order in the UK from November 2010, with prices starting at £21,705.