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Skoda Octavia RS Review

                                                                Words : Ritin Paul Images : Stenny Joseph

The Octavia RS does ring bells amongst` petrol heads in India. Now in its third generation all eyes are on this driver focussed car to deliver the same racing pedigree as that of its previous models. The Octavia RS being the fun car it is to drive, now comes powered with a 2.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine which sheds out 230 hp. With a price of 25 lakh, it does not really have any competition as such and can be viewed as an affordable performance sedan.Except for tinier wheels and a slightly raised suspension everything else remains like its European counterpart. With interesting modifications in the form of a changed bumper, a rear spoiler and a twin exhaust, the car might go on to proclaim its identity of being an affordable sports car waiting to be pushed over the limit.

Exterior – Majority of the portions resemble the standard Octavia, but a few sporty elements add anaggressive character to the car. For instance the front bumper which isn’t the same as the standard one goes well with the split – headlights. It adds a sporty stance to the overall appeal of the car. As already mentioned the car comes with a sporty body kit which includes a rear spoiler and twin exhausts. This RS variant comes fitted with new 17 inch ‘Anthracite Hawk’ alloy wheels which has a diamond cut design, and although the 18 inch one which its European counterpart gets is a whole lot appealing, this 17 inch alloys does its job of rubbing a lot of sporty character onto the car. Further additions upfront include a gloss black radiator grille with vRS badging, the bumper needs a special mention because it has a broader and wider air intake with horizontal LED foglamps on either end.

Interior–Like the exterior the cabin of the RS has received some interesting changes. The cabin comes in a complete black layout. The bucket seats in the car ensure you stay firm at the seat even at sharp corners. The seats are electrically adjustable (front seats), andit come knitted in Alcantara and it has the vRS badging along with the red contrast stitching. There’s enough Knee room and head room but it would be better off if the seats provided more thigh support. The best part in the cabin has got to be the steering which is a flat-bottomed RS steering wheel with paddle shifters behind the wheel. The other takeaways include touchscreen infotainment system offering a host of connectivity options and a boot similar to the standard Octavia which can easily accommodate your weekend travel baggage.

Drive –Powering the car is a 2-litre TSI turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine that churns out 230 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque.Power is sent from the engine to the car’s front wheels through a six-speed DSG (dual-clutch) automatic gearbox. Unlike its European counterpart the suspension in this one is raised a bit, but still remains 15 mm lower than the standard Octavia. The suspension is tweaked, given Indian road conditions. The car gets larger diameter disc brakes in order to curb the excessive power. Skoda claims 0 – 100 km/h under 7 seconds, the impressive time is largely because the car has a very effective launch control system. The engine is crisp, free-revving and super linear. The torque and power spreads are wide 350Nm from 1,500-4,500rpm and 230PS between 5,500-6,200rpm. Gearshifts are smooth and quick and the DSG responds rather well, and you would not desire for a manual setup.

The economy figures aren’t bad either, keeping in mind it is a 230 PS 2.0 L turbo charged engine, it manages to return around 10 Km/l in city conditions. While you engage the Drive mode the gear upshifts early enough to keep the revs low, thereby improving efficiency, but while you engage the Sports mode you will notice the gearbox does not allow revs to fall below 2,000 rpm and upshifts occur only at the nick of time. What you will definitely like in this car is the amazing sound it produces when you are hard on the throttle. The tires also are really good managing to put in all the power on the tarmac and it behaves rather well without much squealing even at extremely sharp corners. The crucial element which remains unspoken about in delivering optimized performance has got to be the Octavia RS’s limited slip differential. What this does is, it makes the car super agile at sharp corners, so you will not really realize the dimensions of the car when you are pushing it to its limit at corners. There is very little in the name of body roll and driving along those long winding roads is going to be hassle free. What however could be a point of botheration is the electrically assisted steering which feels very much like the one on the standard Octavia.

Should you have one–So is it worth the extra cash? It depends. If its optimized performance that you are looking for – look no further as the Octavia RS will leave a grin in the racer that lies within you. And it’s not impractical either, unlike most sports cars it does not demand for too much extra attention and should be able to please you for your day to day usage as well.

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