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by Tim Beissmann

The Skoda Octavia RS 230 will take the Czech brand to new heights in Australia when it reaches our shores next year.

Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer this week confirmed the fastest ever Octavia, the flagship RS 230 that debuted at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, is locked in for our market for 2016.

Irmer said Skoda would offer sedan and wagon versions of the RS 230 in Australia (where it may be rebranded Octavia RS 169TSI, to fit with our naming convention), with local customers so far heavily favouring the load-lugging body style over the liftback throughout the Octavia range.

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The Skoda Octavia RS 230 is effectively the Czech brand’s version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance.

Its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine gets the same 7kW power bump over the regular Octavia RS, taking its peak outputs to 169kW and 350Nm.

It helps shave one tenth of a second off the Octavia RS sedan’s 0-100km/h time, lowering it to 6.7 seconds, while bumping its top speed up from 248km/h to 250km/h.

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Also shared with the GTI Performance is an electronically controlled locking front differential – a first for Skoda – that the car maker says enhances the car’s “dynamic cornering” ability.

Six-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch ‘DSG’ automatic transmissions will be made available overseas, though it’s unclear if both will be offered locally at this stage. The GTI Performance is available only with the DSG.

The Octavia RS 230 is distinguishable by its black painted grille surround, mirror caps, roof and rear spoiler, and its unique black and silver alloy wheels. The cabin also gains a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

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Expect the RS 230 to command a premium of a few thousand dollars over the regular Octavia RS 162TSI, which costs between $36,790 and $40,440 before on-road costs.

Demand for the Skoda Octavia RS has soared to unprecedented levels in Australia and around the world, with local customers forced to wait up to nine months to get behind the wheel.

To help better manage supply and demand, Skoda has doubled Octavia RS production in the Czech Republic to 700 units per week.




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