There will be no all-wheel-drive Skoda Octavia RS offered in Australia.
The Czech brand's new AWD version of its diesel-powered Octavia RS has launched in Europe, but local showrooms won't see the new version, which adds rear propulsion over the standard front-drive model. The AWD model weighs more than the FWD version, but it's quicker from 0-100km/h, too, at a claimed 7.6 seconds for the sedan and 7.7sec for the wagon (0.3sec faster than the FWD versions).
Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer told CarAdvice that there are no plans to introduce the new diesel AWD model locally, claiming the added cost is one of the biggest impediments.
Irmer explained that the RS version of the Octavia is already the most popular variant, and indeed that specification of vehicle in sedan and wagon bodystyles makes up the majority of all Skoda sales in Australia. Buyers who want a diesel AWD Octavia are more likely to go for the Scout model, which features raised suspension and rugged body-cladding.
Instead of the all-wheel-drive RS diesel, Skoda will add the RS 230 petrol model (pictured above) later this year - that number relates to its horsepower, so locally it will be known as the 169TSI (it has 169kW and 350Nm).
That version has an extra 7kW of power over the standard petrol RS, and follows a similar tack to the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance model, adding an electronically controlled locking front differential – a first for Skoda – that the car maker says enhances the car’s “dynamic cornering” ability.
Expect it to launch in the third quarter of the year in sedan and wagon bodystyles. It will come with the petrol engine only, while there is still a diesel version of the RS available, too.