Skoda cars were always about offering a complete package with great value for money. The new generation Octavia also followed the same route and now with the new Octavia RS, Skoda wants to add more spice to the mix. The new Octavia RS gets a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine putting out 230 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque. While there’s a slightly more powerful version available globally, we have to be satisfied with the 230 PS version. Let us find out whether the new Octavia really deserves the RS badge.
Globally the Octavia RS is available in many variants—estate and hatchback versions with petrol and diesel engine options, automatic and manual transmission, and a front wheel drive or an all wheel drive. But, in India, we get the 230 PS petrol version with front wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The new RS is based on Golf GTI that lends the car great credibility when it comes to performance and handling.
Apart from the TSI engine, the Octavia RS sits 15mm lower and a re-tuned suspension that suits our roads. The engine, along with the DSG transmission, is rev-happy and quick. Slot the gear into drive, put your foot down and off you go, in a blink of an eye. The throttle response is great and so is the exhaust note, not too loud to wake your neighbours and not too quiet to escape from your late night returns. It’s throaty in a way that it wants you to keep revving.
All that torque, available right from 1500 rpm till 4500 rpm, provides a great range of driveability. The suspension and chassis have been re-tuned for better handling but not as aggressive as in the European version. Take it around a corner and the XDS+ limited-slip differential comes into play. By gently braking the inner wheels, the XDS+ system transmits more torque to the outer wheels resulting in sharp and sexy cornering. Though the DSG is good enough, you can slide into manual mode for a more satisfying control over the wheels.
The lowered suspension helps to keep the body roll in control and the car doesn’t make you sense its weight when you put your foot into it. Skoda has re-engineered the suspension to balance the handling and the ride quality to meet the standards of our roads. The 18-inch wheels version will definitely be the most preferred but again we have to be content with the 17-inch ones.
Although the new Octavia RS is all about the driving experience from the inside, it does not lack in its German class. The feature loaded interior comes in an all-black theme along with Alcantara RS leather seat upholstery that are contrast stitched in red. Other features that add to the sporty quotient are leather wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel, new instrument cluster with lap timer and vRS badges all around.
On the outside, the Octavia RS gets a sportier front bumper with new LED fog lamps, new 17-inch Hawk Anthracite alloy wheels, full body kit and the RS sport rear deck lid spoiler.
To sum up, the RS badge cannot be more befitting for this new beast from the Skoda stable. It is great to finally have a proper RS model without making any compromise. And with the new Octavia RS, Skoda has brought us a proper performance car. At Rs 24.62 lakh ex-showroom, the new RS may look pricey, but with a 230 PS engine clocking a 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, it offers the best deal and will definitely find a lot of takers in India.