The third generation Octavia RS in Australia is the fastest model Skoda has sold in Australia, with a 248km/h top speed very few local customers are likely to experience.
New Skoda Octavia RS
Skoda Octavia RS.
Volkswagen's Czech arm equips the front-wheel-drive RS with a choice of turbocharged 2.0-litre engines available in petrol or diesel trim.
The 2.0 TDI diesel opens the batting with 380Nm of torque at 1750rpm that becomes 135kW of peak power, while the petrol version offers sharper performance thanks to 162kW that follows 350Nm from 1500rpm.
The petrol engine and much of the car's mechanical components are shared with the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
However the Golf GTI sells from $41,490, which is $5000 more than the Octavia RS.
That petrol model accelerates from rest to 100kmh in 6.8 seconds, 0.5 seconds faster than its predecessor and well below the diesel car's 8.2 second benchmark.
Skoda impressively lowered fuel consumption for the petrol variant by 1.3L/100km to 6.4L/100km, while the diesel's fuel figure has dipped to 5.2L/100km.
Both models feature stop-start systems and smart alternators that help lower fuel consumption.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard in the petrol-powered RS, with the Volkswagen Group's six-speed DSG dual-clutch auto an $2300 option.
The diesel is fitted with DSG as standard and cannot be paired with a manual transmission.
The Octavia's performance is reigned in with red-painted calipers that clasp ventilated discs a size larger than the standard model's stopping package.
The RS treatment includes sports suspension 12mm lower than the standard sedan, and 13mm lower than the regular Octavia wagon.
As with the Golf GTI, Skoda has also added Volkswagen's XDL, an electric differential lock that aids cornering at pace by curtailing wheel spin.
The car is finished with 18-inch wheels as standard, while black-painted 19-inch items are an optional extra.
As with the Octavia on which it is based, the RS is longer and wider than its predecessor, with rear seat room aided by a 102mm wheelbase extension that also adds cornering stability.
On the inside, heavily bolstered and red-stitched RS-branded seats join a sports steering wheel and alloy pedals that lend purpose to the cabin.
The sedan has 568 litres of boot storage, while a more versatile wagon version offers 588 litres of space before the back seats are folded to reveal a large loading area.
Occupants are kept safe by nine airbags that help the Octavia RS score the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Automated emergency braking is part of an optional tech pack that also adds adaptive cruise control, self-parking features, smart keys and a better stereo.
The pack is not yet available on Australian cars, and is set to arrive in the second half of 2014.
Skoda Octavia RS pricing and specifications
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo petrol or diesel
Transmission: 6-speed dual clutch auto or 6-speed manual (petrol only), FWD
Power: 162kW at 4200-6000rpm (petrol), 135kW at 3500-4000rpm (diesel)
Torque: 350Nm at 1500-4000rpm (petrol), 380Nm from 1750-3250rpm (diesel)
Fuel economy: 6.4L/100km (petrol), 5.2L/100km (diesel)
On sale: now
Skoda Octavia RS petrol manual sedan: $36,490
Skoda Octavia RS petrol auto sedan: $38,790
Skoda Octavia RS diesel auto sedan: $39,790
Skoda Octavia RS petrol auto wagon: $40,140
Skoda Octavia RS diesel auto wagon: $41,140