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Skoda Octavia RS: Golf GTI heart for sporty Czech

Skoda Octavia RS

Skoda's new-generation flagship sports model is set to become the quickest series-production Octavia in history, thanks largely to its adoption of the turbocharged engine from the new Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk7.

Powered by the 162kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (up 15kW on the previous powerplant), the new Skoda Octavia RS is half a second quicker from 0-100km/h, stopping the clock in 6.8 seconds, before going on to reach a top speed of 248km/h.

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As before, the petrol RS model will be joined by a diesel alternative. The new 135kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder oil-burner takes 8.1 seconds to accelerate to triple figures, making it three-tenths quicker than the outgoing 125kW Octavia RS diesel.

Both engines are available with six-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions, and come standard with engine stop-start technology, which the Czech brand claims contributes to fuel savings of up to 19 per cent across the third-generation line-up.

Riding on new sports suspension, the RS models sits 12-13mm lower than the standard Octavia. A new electronic differential lock integrated into the electronic stability control system aims to improve traction and reduce understeer, while the progressive electro-mechanical steering is designed to reduce the amount of adjustment required by the driver.

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Dark-tinted headlights with LED daytime running lights, large intakes lined with honeycomb mesh, 17-inch light-alloy wheels, red brake calipers, a bootlid/roof-edge spoiler, and a wide red reflector strip above the rear diffuser and dual chrome exhaust outlets clearly distinguish the RS models from the standard Octavia family.

The black-finished cabin features newly developed front sports seats, a perforated leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, and ambient lighting around the inside door handles.

Leaving no doubt in the owner’s mind, RS logos are scattered across the steering wheel, gearstick, doorsill panels, seats and floor mats.

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The standard safety package includes emergency city braking, lane departure assist, fatigue detection and up to nine airbags, with safety able to be enhanced further by the addition of the optional adaptive cruise control, intelligent light assist, automatic park assist and road sign detection.

The Skoda Octavia RS launches in Europe in July and will head to Australia a few months later to join the rest of the third-generation Octavia range, which arrives on our shores later this year.

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