The RS badge from Skoda is finally coming back to India and this time it is attaching itself to a potent four-door 230bhp monster called the Octavia RS. It’s the most powerful Octavia RS ever brought to India and will surely boost the Skoda image when it comes to affordable performance motoring. It has been due for a long time as the current once has been plying since 2013.
While the standard 1.8-litre petrol model is good fun in itself, this RS badged car raises the game completely.
But where it did it all begin for India? Well we have to go back to 2005. This was a time when Skoda was a relatively young brand in India and was rapidly opening the eyes of Indian car buyers to the kind of machines that Europeans were used to. The Octavia and the Superb were big hits and to cement its reputation, Skoda brought in the Octavia vRS…
Skoda Octavia vRS Gen-1
…which totally blew everyone away. At a time when sedans were looked on as the forte of the ‘older’, this car with its 150bhp/210Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine was a revelation. Coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox, it was scooped by auto enthusiasts everywhere. Today, this generation of the Octavia vRS is a prized catch for tuners and modifiers. In fact, at the Valley Run 2017, we came many such machines that were producing well beyond the 150bhp output of the original car.
Adding into the performance was a sporty body kit, sporty wheels and lots of vRS badges in case someone missed the other visual clues. All in all, it was a start to something quite fantastic for the performance car lover in India. Despite all this sportiness, you still got leather seats, climate control, quality plastics, a CD changer as well as a big boot!
Skoda Laura vRS
By now, the vRS badge was well cemented in the world of Indian auto enthusiasts and nearly six- years had passed since the car came to India. However, the Octavia badge had been replaced in favour of the Laura moniker and the competition too had gained footing in terms of performance cars.
Sensing, this was the right time, Skoda decided to bring in a vRS version of the Laura. It wasn’t a true vRS per say but it managed to fill in the gap left by the old car.
The recipe here too was the same. Take the standard car, push its output to 160bhp/250Nm and mate it to a manual gearbox. In addition, Skoda also threw in a stiffer suspension, bigger wheels and of course all the vRS accessories that helped the car stand out from the standard model.
2017 Skoda Octavia RS
We have now had two performance generations in India for this car and the third one will finally be here on 1 September. This is the first time that we are getting a full blown Octavia RS and a monster at that.
This time around ,there is no mucking about, as this Octavia RS’ 2.0-litre four-pot motor produces 230bhp/350Nm and is mated to an automatic box. It gets a trick front differential, stiffer suspension and lower ride height.
Of course all this hidden trickery has to be matched up with some fancy visuals in the form of a body kit, fancy wheels and a plethora of RS badges.
Hate it or love it, the Octavia RS is one of those cars that has shaped performance motoring in India. It opened the doors for sporty models on both end of the pricing spectrum. We will be live at the Octavia RS launch on 1 September, so join us then!