Pacemaker on four wheels, courtesy Skoda Octavia RS

The legendary Octavia RS is back and this time it wants to draw blood.
02 September 2017 / 15:50IST

Boy racers need no introduction to the Octavia RS. It was a car that was perfectly suited for a family of four where the driver suffered from a bipolar disorder - that of a pretend racing driver. In the latest avatar, it pushes that paradigm even further by offering more power and tech at a price that puts its (overpriced) German competitors to shame. Under the chiselled hood and behind the sharp, quad-LED headlamps, you get a turbocharged 2.0lt 4-pot TSI engine that churns out a healthy 230bhp and 350Nm of torque, all transferred to the front wheels via a 6-speed DSG gearbox. If you need to ask, of course here are paddle shifts hidden away behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel and everything that you touch or sit on is covered in leather and Alcantara for that proper European sport sedan feel. We took it around the Raymond Racing Circuit in Thane for a few hot laps and realised that the claim of 0-100 kph in 6.8 seconds holds merit and the moment you start going around corners in a hurry, the XDS+ limited slip differential kicks in by gently braking the inner wheel and transferring power to the outer wheel that has traction, powering you out of the slide.

In action, the car shudders as all the active systems are working overtime, including ABS, traction control and the XDS+, but the satisfying burps and farts from the exhaust motivate you to go faster. The agility and eagerness to turn-in is astounding and Skoda has also fitted an active-ratio steering that weighs up nicely in Sport mode. It’s fast, nimble and practical. The huge central media screen is crisp with support for CarPlay and a subtle ambient lighting swathes the cabin in any of the 10 colour options you get to play with. Double stitching in red, RS logos smattered across the cabin, 17in wheels and red brake callipers remind you of the special car that you just bought, inside or out. For ₹ 24.62 lakhs (ex-showroom), Skoda has undercut its rivals by half and it now becomes an undeniably stonking value for money proposition. We will be getting the Octavia RS for a longer stay soon and that’s when we’ll give you a run down of all the media tech that it has on-board. For now, we’re still catching our breath from all the powerslides!

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