The Škoda Octavia is the heart of the Czech brand and tops the bestseller lists in numerous countries. Since the success story of Škoda’s RS family began in the year 2000 with the first-generation Octavia, the sportiest versions of a variety of the Czech manufacturer’s production models have borne the distinctive abbreviation ‘RS’. The letters stand for ‘Rally Sport’ and are reminiscent of the ŠKODA 180 RS and 200 RS rally prototypes as well as the success of the ŠKODA 130 RS at the Monte Carlo rally in the 1970s. Showcased for the European markets, the new Octavia is available as a petrol, diesel, CNG, and with two hybrid technologies, however details on the India-spec variants are yet to be released.
In the fourth generation of the Octavia RS, customers can opt for one of three drive systems for the first time. With a power output of 240bhp, the new Octavia RS iV with plug-in hybrid drive and six-speed DSG as well as the Octavia RS equipped with a 2.0 TSI petrol engine and a manual 6-speed gearbox or 7-speed DSG are each on a par. The 2.0 TDI delivers 197bhp; it is always coupled with a 7-speed DSG, and all-wheel drive is an optional extra.
Three diesel engines available for the Octavia RS come from the latest EVO generation and already comply with the BS-6 emissions standard. The advanced SCR exhaust gas treatment system reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80 percent as AdBlue is injected in what is known as the ‘twin dosing’ process.
The interior of all Octavia RS models is predominantly black. The redesigned multifunction leather sports steering wheel has three spokes and bears the RS logo. It has rearranged buttons and new knurled wheels in a chrome design; vehicles with DSG feature shift paddles. The front sports seats with integrated headrests are upholstered in black fabric, whilst the optional ergonomic seats come with a cover made of Alcantara, leather and artificial leather as well as seat-depth adjustment and a massage function.
Škoda will also use mild-hybrid technology for the first time ever, in its Octavia e-TEC models. When fitted with a 7-speed DSG, the 107bhp three-cylinder 1.0 TSI and the 145bhp four-cylinder 1.5 TSI both use a 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery. The battery with a capacity of 0.6 kWh is located under the front passenger seat and is charged exclusively by brake energy recovery. It can also supply the 12-V starter battery with power via a DC converter. Above all, however, the mild hybrid technology supports the engine with an electrical boost of up to 50Nm if required, enabling the e-TECs to coast with the engine completely switched off.
The TSI & TDI variants of the Octavia RS feature 15mm lower ride height but the RS-spec suspension and progressive steering system are shared with the hybrid iV model. On all three versions, Skoda is also offering Dynamic Chassis Control (electronically adaptable damping) as an optional extra. The TSI versions feature 17-inch brakes as standard, but the TDI version comes with 16-inch front brakes and 15-inch units for the rear wheels.
The new Skoda Octavia RS offers systems from the latest-generation modular infotainment matrix, comprehensive connectivity thanks to a built-in eSIM, a high level of active and passive safety thanks to new assistance systems, and more. With central displays measuring up to 10 inches, a revised Virtual Cockpit with new layouts and an optional head-up display – making its Škoda debut in the new Octavia RS – the driver always has an optimal overview of all the relevant information. The new active systems, Collision Avoidance Assist, Turn Assist and Exit Warning, also boost safety.
RS models traditionally look much more dynamic than other Octavias. In addition to exclusive front and rear aprons, they feature numerous black attributes. These include the Škoda-typical grille, diffuser, and Air Curtains above the exclusive LED fog lights.
Skoda plans on launching the RS alongside the next generation Octavia. There is good news though- in his recent interactions, Zac Hollis, Director- Sales, Service and Marketing at Skoda Auto India, has mentioned that the brand will aim at bringing the RS to our shores at the start of their life-cycle and not at the end, like always. Would it be a limited edition run? No confirmation yet, but we certainly think it would!