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How good is the ‘proper’ Euro-spec Octavia RS?
The RS is the more fun, more focused version of a car that’s already fun to drive. The car that’s made its way here is finally the ‘proper’ Euro-spec RS – the only differences are a slightly raised suspension and smaller wheels.
Under the hood
Under the hood sits a 2.0-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine that makes the same 230hp and 350Nm as the car sold in Europe. The India-spec car’s suspension has been raised a bit, however, it’s still 15mm lower than our standard Octavia. The suspension has also been stiffened and reworked. The car features an aggressive body kit, including a rear spoiler and twin exhausts. The RS is also fitted with new ‘Anthracite Hawk’ alloy wheels. On the inside, there’s an all-black theme and the car comes with the same level of equipment as the top-spec Octavia TSI. The flat-bottomed RS steering wheel with paddles and a pair of super supportive leather and Alcantara sports seats that are contrast-stitched in red, are part of the package.
Power is sent to the car’s front wheels through a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and the car also comes with larger-diameter disc brakes for adequate stopping power. We took this car out for a short spin.
From behind the wheel
Put your foot down and the car jumps off the line, thanks to its generous 350Nm of torque. The car feels almost civilized to drive, and even sounds tame - this isn’t one of those super-shouty engines. The car does make a nice raspy sound near its redline, and you can hear the occasional ‘pop’ sound when you change gears. It sounds a whole lot nicer from the outside than when you’re sitting in the cabin.
The gearbox adapts quite well to unpredictability. Put it in Sport mode, and it will rev up to about 6,000rpm and shift, or you can choose to use the paddles or the lever to shift manually. Body control in this car feels good when you’re taking turns at high speeds, thanks to the lowered, stiffened suspension.
Is it worth the money?
The price-tag may seem a bit high, but for the kind of performance this car gets, you would require to spend a bit more money. The car’s predictable and offers a very satisfying driving experience. Previous versions have attained a sort of cult status in our country amongst performance enthusiasts, despite not being the same spec as the European car. So, this New Octavia RS should definitely follow suit and may just find a lot of takers.