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Power boosted Skoda Octavia RS to race in

Range topper: The new Octavia RS230 performance variant will become Skoda’s halo car when it arrives next year.

Skoda plans high-performance Octavia to take on European hot hatchbacks


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27 Mar 2015

A MORE potent version of the warmed-over Skoda Octavia RS mid-sizer will hit Australian shores next year as part of the Czech car-maker’s rapidly expanding range.

The Octavia RS230 was this week confirmed for local deliveries by Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer, but he said the launch timing was not yet known as “it hasn’t even started production”.

“Yes, we will take it and it will be sometime next year,” he said.

The RS230, which was was on display at the Geneva motor show earlier this month, has a 250km/h top speed, making it the fastest production Octavia yet.

It is likely to be available in both sedan liftback and wagon body-styles.

Named after its power output of 230 horsepower – or 169kW – it uses a derivative of the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s EA888 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine.

It was shown to celebrate Skoda’s 120th anniversary and the intention is to make it the company’s halo car.

The 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine in the existing RS that went on sale one year ago, delivers 162kW and 350Nm of torque and accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds.

Announcing the RS230 this week, Mr Irmer said demand for the RS Octavia variants was outstripping supply.

He added that demand was causing some customers to wait up to 12 months for delivery of specific RS variants.

The Australian market is one of the best for the RS sub-brand, with almost 40 per cent of all Octavia sales here made up of the performance model, one of the highest percentages in the world.

Mr Irmer said the customer wait times on the RS was improving and that it is now down to nine months.

He said he expected that to come down again “in the near future’’ when Skoda completes its factory expansion program, and added that RS and some wagon variants were already having production increased.

Further pressure on the Czech factory comes with the new Fabia which is here in the second half of this year, the new Superb and from late 2016, a new large SUV model.

The factory in Kvasiny will get a 7 billion Czech Koruna ($A355m) injection to ensure capacity of 280,000 vehicles annually by 2018.

Skoda manufactured one-million vehicles in 2014 and is on target to make 1.5 million by 2018.

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