Skoda is reportedly working on a more powerful special edition of its Octavia RS to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the RS badge, but details at this stage are a little sketchy.
A source within Skoda has told Czech magazine AutoForum that the special edition Octavia will go beyond just visual and equipment tweaks. The source believes that the car will have more power, but won’t feature all-wheel drive.
It’s possible that Skoda is developing a unique mechanical package, but it’s just as likely that the company will raid the corporate parts bin. With the current Skoda Octavia is based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, its closest relations are the Mark VII Volkswagen Golf and the Europe-only Seat Leon.
With all-wheel drive off the table, this seemingly rules out the 221kW motor used overseas in the Golf R — local versions of the car use a detuned 206kW engine in deference to our hot climate. This leaves the front-wheel drive 169kW Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance and 206kW front-wheel Seat Leon Cupra as the remaining mechanical packages available off the shelf.
By way of comparison, the third-generation Octavia RS, which was launched onto the Australian market earlier this year, can be had with either VW’s 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine or 135kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel motor under the hood.
Skoda debuted the RS badge back in 1975 when the Czech Republic was still part of communist Czechoslovakia. The first use of the RS badge was on the Skoda 130RS (above), a rally special with a 104kW 1.3-litre carburetted engine.
With its rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and coupe body, it was often referred to back then as the “Porsche of the East”. The 130RS won the 1300cc class in the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally and Division 1 of the 1981 European Touring Car Championship.