3, 2, 1....... the buzzer is off and the
hounds hit the dirt. Long and slender these graceful animals are deceivingly
quick, reaching a top speed of 70kmph in just 30 meters. Their character is
defined by swiftness, agility and keen sight. Powerful and muscular, owners have
always been advised to keep them in check with a leash. But why am I talking
about a racing hound? Because, I had one of my own, ironically in grey. I was
at the Raymond race track in Mumbai to test out the shiny new Skoda Octavia RS.
1984cc, 4 Cylinder, Turbocharged, Petrol
Automatic 6-Speed DSG
McPherson with lower triangular links and torsion stabiliser
Multi Element Axle with torsion stabiliser
Disc (Inner Cooling and single piston floating caliper)
Fuel Tank Capacity
Rs. 24,62,542 Lakh
To set the tone of things to come let me
just throw in some numbers for you. A top speed of 250kmph, a 0-100kmph time of
6.8 seconds, 226hp from 5500-6200rpm and 350Nm of torque from as low as 1500rpm
to 4500rpm. That is what Skoda has managed to churn out of the 2.0L, 4 pot,
turbocharged, petrol TSI motor in the new Octavia RS. With those figures out of
the way I can safely tell you that the Octavia RS is menacingly fast. But the
Raymond racing track built by Gautam Singhania is not really designed for speed,
much rather to drift. It would make an ideal proving ground for the agility and
stability of the new Octavia RS.
Putting this performance saloon through its
paces I floored the accelerator and was off in a jiffy. The engine revs freely
and the turbo is tuned with precision. The engine has been mated to a 6-speed
automatic DSG gearbox which is accurate in most situations. The transmission
shows no signs of lag and is quick to downshift when more power is demanded.
Skoda has built the Octavia RS on a sports chassis which lowers the ride by
15mm. The Czech manufacturer has also bolted on their electronically regulated
XDS+ limited slip differential as part of the standard equipment. While
cornering on the track the XDS+ will gently brake the inner wheels and transmit
more torque to the outer wheels. Thus rendering more control in corners.
The suspension setup on the Octavia RS
leans on the stiffer side. The steering has been weighted well, it gave a very
solid and sporty feel. The braking setup on the Octavia RS also features discs
in the front and rear. Progressive in nature, these brakes are accurate and
sharp, making for a controlled and confidence inspiring ride. While putting the
Octavia RS in some tight corners and accelerating rapidly out of them, I was
thoroughly impressed with the control and power it had to offer. But that alone
does not define this sedan.
Skoda has also been known for their solid
build and lavish appeal. The Octavia RS does a fabulous job of seamlessly
combining that with a very sporty appearance both in and out. The sedan's
facade sports a bold looking bumper with broad honeycomb air inlets. Skoda's
new headlamp design theme for the Octavia also sits well with the overall sporty
theme of the sedan. Skoda has also slapped on the RS badges on the radiator
grille and tailgate. The tailgate also features a spoiler. On the inside a
black colour scheme dominates and sets a raffish tone. Skoda has installed
Alcantara sports seats which are comfortable and provide decent support. The
seats also feature red topstitching along with the vRS logo where in 'v' stands
The overall package of the Octavia RS can
be defined as sporty and exquisite. Not only has Skoda packed in the right
amount of power and performance, but the Octavia RS also gets just the right
amount of features and fitment to create a very comfortable and technology rich
driving experience. What was extremely remarkable was the way, the Octavia RS
handled its weight and was able to shift its line almost instantly, almost like
the race pedigree greyhound. Coming in at a price point of Rs. 24.62 lakh
(ex-showroom) the Octavia RS is a sure shot winner in my book with not just the
performance to thrill but looks and features to elate you.
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