Why launch a family hatchback in Tel Aviv?

For Skoda, choosing Israel's second city as the debut location for the all-new Scala makes a lot of sense: the area is home to more than 6,500 technology startups, placing it second only to Silicon Valley as the largest global startup scene. 

Two of the Scala's biggest plays to attract a younger, more connected audience are its new technology and an upgraded infotainment system, so it fits right in. But more importantly, all this new-to-the-Volkswagen Group hardware is appearing on a Skoda first.

The Volkswagen Group tends to shuffle which brands get to introduce new metal and platforms in various market segments on a regular basis, but it's unusual for Skoda to be given first dibs on new technology. Normally Volkswagen would lead the charge itself, but the group's third-generation infotainment system makes its debut here instead.

The Scala is also the first with wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay (admittedly as an option rather than as standard), which means no more having to remember to pack a cable if you want to connect your phone to your car. It will be always-connected, too, so you'll be able to remotely lock the doors or check where you parked using your smartphone, before you will on any VW or Seat. Even the humble USB port is dead, as far as the Scala's cockpit is concerned: it's the ultra-modern USB-C all the way (don't worry, adaptors are available).