Only a few short months after the arrival of the new Skoda Octavia, Skoda Australia has launched the all-new more powerful and larger Skoda Octavia RS (Rally Sport) downunder.
Skoda Octavia RS Overview
Skoda is offering the Octavia RS in sedan or wagon, petrol or diesel . The Skoda Octavia RS is bigger, more powerful and now use less fuel than the model it replaces.
Sharing the same underpinning and petrol engine as the current MK VII Volkswagon GTI, the Skoda Octavia RS is a ripper.
A high level of standard equipment includes 8' columbus Sat-NAV, parking sensors front and rear, Colour Multi function display, dual zone air con, auto light and rain sensors and auto dimming mirror.
Three option packs are available on the Octavia RS, the first two “18'Black Pack”, and '19” Black Pack” offers different alloy wheels, black wing mirrors, black radiator grille and black roof rails.
The third and final pack is the Tech Pack which offers Adaptive cruse, front assist, city brake assist,, Auto Parking Assist, Keyless entry, upgraded sound system and review camera – pricing was unavailable at launch and Skoda Australia don’t expect that pack to be available on cars until mid year.
2014 Skoda Octavia RS Australian Pricing:
Skoda Octavia RS Sedan Manual TSI - $36,490
Skoda Octavia RS Wagon Manual TSI - $37,840
Skoda Octavia RS Sedan DSG TSI - $38,790
Skoda Octavia RS Wagon DSG TSI - $40,140
Skoda Octavia RS Sedan DSG TDI - $39,790
Skoda Octavia RS Wagon DSG TDI - $41,140
Skoda Octavia RS Engine
This is where buyers face a real dilemma, you can opt for performance with higher fuel economy or slightly less performance with better fuel economy, with buyers having to choose between petrol or diesel engines.
The petrol TSI engine is a ripper producing 162kW/ 350Nm and performs the 0-100kmh sprint in 6.8 seconds and goes all the way up to 248km/h. Fuel consumption has been reduced to 6.4-litres per 100kms. The engine comes paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG transmission. Carshowroom.com.au loved the tight and direct changes from the manual.
The diesel TDI (135kW/ 380Nm) is the most powerful Skoda diesel to date, producing a time of 8.2 seconds in the 0-100km/h dash. Slower acceleration times are the trade-off for better fuel economy which on the combined cycle is 5.2-litres per 100kms. The diesel engine comes with a 6-speed DSG transmission only/
Skoda Octavia RS Interior
Spacious and refined with a hint of racer street cred to add a dash of flair. Skoda has benefitted from being part of the VW group with their interior’s leading the way.
The interior of the Skoda Octavia RS is black in colour only and is based on the range topping Octavia ‘Elegance’ equipment package. Jump inside and you are greeted with dual-zone ‘Climatronic’ air conditioning, front and rear power windows, multi function display in the instrument cluster and height-adjustable RS Sports seats available in a standard fabric and leather trim combination, or an optional Alcantara leather-appointed trim with red contrast stitching. Other exclusive RS touches include the RS emblem on the steering wheel, gearshift, door sill plates, seats, and floor mats.
Cabin space in the new model offers more interior length (1,782 mm) and more legroom (73 mm) than the previous Octavia RS. Luggage capacity in the has grown by eight litres to 568 litres, while the Wagon RS offers even more storage volume at 588 litres.
Skoda Octavia RS Exterior and Styling
Bold, sharp and sporty would sum up how the 2014 Skoda Octavia RS looks in the metal.
Both the the sedan and wagon sit on a lower sports chassis the ground clearance is 12 mm and 13 mm lower than the standard Octavia respectively. The new Octavia RS is longer (sedan + 88 mm, wagon + 86 mm) and 45 mm wider than the previous Octavia with an increased wheel base by 102 mm.
Some buyers may find the Skoda Octavia RS a little underwhelming in the looks department, even the official press release states “the RS conveys a sense of understated athleticism”.
Up front there is the family grille, air inlets with a honeycomb structure, a new apron and fog lights in RS design, bi-xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights. From the side profile the red brake callipers really standout.
At the rear the black diffuser and trapezoidal chrome tailpipes dominate. Skoda have also added a red reflective strip that runs the width of the rear bumper.
Skoda have released the Skoda Octavia R in seven colours, with “Steel Grey” exclusive to the RS. Also available in Candy White (solid) and metallic: Magic Black with pearlescent effect, Race Blue, Brilliant Silver, Metal Grey and Moon White.
Skoda Octavia RS On the Road
Carshowroom.com.au sampled the entry-level petrol manual wagon and the range topping diesel wagon at the national launch in Snowy Mountains in NSW. On tight a twisty roads the Skoda Octavia RS certainly put a huge smile on the dial.
The beauty of the Skoda Octavia RS is that it can be driven sedately or as pure excitement machine.
On some of the tight twisting roads in the snowy mountains the Octavia performed faultless thanks to the MacPherson front axle, rear multi-link suspension and the XDL extended electronic differential lock that really helps get the Octavia around corners with minimum understeer.
We found that the Octavia RS had precision turn-in and mid corner balance and that the Skoda Octavia RS can challenge even the most expensive of rivals.
It will be interesting to see how the Skoda Octavia handles once the car is fitted with Drive Mode Select, Skoda was a little sketchy on details but expects cars to have it as standard from May onwards.
Skoda Octavia RS Issues
The wait on fitting a reversing camera is a shame but Skoda Australia expects this to be ship as standard by August 2014.
The re-sale value of Skoda’s in Australia is also a concern for some buyers, however the RS bucks that trend a little.
Skoda Octavia RS Competition
Difficult to find a rival that takes the fight up to the Skoda Octavia RS. The Golf GTi could be a choice but is smaller and more expensive starting at over $40,000.
There is also report s that the Golf Wagon is getting a R-spec’d version, if this is true it would be the most direct rival.
Don’t discount the Subaru Liberty GT that starts from $52,,990.
Left of field is the polarising Criterion DS5 DSport from $48,990
Skoda Octavia RS Verdict
What isn’t there to like about the Skoda Octavia RS? With the hot hatch market going from strength to strength in Australia, the Skoda Octavia RS offers the chance for hot hatch buyers to get a performance vehicle with space and practicality.
Carshowroom.com.au would happily part way with their money for the entry-level 6-speed manual petrol wagon.