The Skoda Octavia RS is back in its third iteration to provide a German/Czech mix of pragmatism and performance.
Following the regular Skoda Octiva range that went on sale in Australia in November 2013, the sportier RS line-up starts from $36,490 in manual form or $38,790 with a dual-clutch automatic.
Skoda Octavia RS buyers again have choices to make. There are sedan and wagon body styles, and there’s either a petrol engine from the Volkswagen Golf GTI or a diesel engine from the not-for-Oz Golf GTD.
Australian buyers are typically averse to wagons but Skoda Australia says about 70 per cent of RS customers will opt for the more practical version that carries a smaller premium than previously ($1350).
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol brings the same outputs as in the GTI – 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque. That propels the Skoda Octavia RS to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.
About 10 per cent of buyers will opt for the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel that offers extra torque at 380Nm but less power, at 135kW, and takes 8.2 seconds to reach the triple-digit sprint benchmark.
Both feature stop-start tech and offer a 10 per cent power increase and 17 per cent fuel economy improvement over the engines they replace, with the diesel again being the pick for those with a greater aversion to petrol stations.
The RS sedan diesel officially uses 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions rated at 134 grams per kilometre. The manual gearbox gets the petrol closest with figures of 6.4L/100km and 147g/km.
Longer and wider than its predecessor, the RS sits on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform used by the likes of the Golf, joining the Skoda Octavia range that starts at $21,690.
Lower-spec Octavia models use a cheaper torsion beam rear suspension, though the RS follows other higher-spec models by featuring a multi-link version.
The RS also gains VW’s XDL extended electronic diff lock as used by the GTI that essentially uses the stability control system to nibble at the inside front wheel to help negotiate corners during hard driving.
On the practical side, boot space is 568 litres for the sedan and 588L for the wagon. The wagon has a much bigger advantage when the rear seats are folded, however, with cargo space expanding to 1718L versus the sedan’s 1558L.
An optional Tech Pack will become available about mid-year, with a price yet to be determined but said to be less than the $3300 it asks on the Octavia Elegance.
The pack includes a reverse view camera that is a notable omission from the Octavia and Skoda Australia.
The Skoda Octavia RS goes on sale in April.
Here’s a quick guide to the Octavia RS’s standard features, options and breakdown of pricing:
2014 Skoda Octavia RS Key Features
Bi-xenon headlights with LED DRLs
Fabric/leather sports seats
Sports steering wheel
8.0-inch high-res Columbus radio nav with DVD, screen and sensors
Colour multi-function instrument cluster display
RS logo on steering wheel, gearshift, sill plates, seats, floor mats
18-inch Pictrois alloy wheels
Parking sensors front and rear
Dual-zone climate control
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Alcantara/leather sports seats
Panoramic roof (wagon)
Full leather seats
Chrome-plated window frames
Auto boot opening (wagon)
18-inch Gemini alloy wheels
19-inch Xtreme alloy wheels
Optional Tech Pack (from mid 2014; price TBC)
Keyless entry start and unlocking/locking
Canton audio (10 speakers)
Drive Mode Select
18-inch Black Pack – $500
Gloss black chrome on grille and mirrors
Black roof rails for wagon
18-inch black alloy Gemini wheels
19-inch Black Pack – $1000
Gloss black chrome on grille, and mirrors
Black roof rails for wagon
19-inch black alloy Xtreme wheels
2014 Skoda Octavia RS range
Octavia RS 162TSI sedan six-speed manual $36,490
Octavia RS 162TSI sedan six-speed auto $38,790
Octavia RS 135TDI sedan diesel six-speed auto $39,790
Octavia RS 162TSI wagon six-speed manual $37,840
Octavia RS 162TSI wagon six-speed auto $40,140
Octavia RS 135TDI wagon six-speed auto $41,140