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Octavia RS races to Goodwood

Badge of honour: Skoda’s yet-to-be-revealed Octavia RS will take part in the hill climb at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Skoda to reveal hot-blooded Octavia at Goodwood before early 2014 Australian arrival

Skoda logo3 Apr 2013

SKODA will reveal its all-new Octavia RS at England’s famed Goodwood Festival of Speed in July this year, claiming that it is the fastest Octavia of all time.

The performance version of the Octavia line-up looks set to arrive in Australia early next year, shortly after the introduction of the more sedate liftback and wagon variants in the fourth quarter of this year.

No powertrain details are confirmed for the Octavia RS, although rumours suggest it will use either the new Volkswagen Golf GTI’s 162kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, or an as-yet unnamed VW-sourced turbo-diesel.

The new Octavia is built on VW’s MQB platform that is also used for the Golf, Audi’s A3 and the Seat Leon, and potentially more future models from the giant German car-maker.

It is not known if, similar to its current line-up, Skoda will offer liftback and wagon versions of the new RS.

Skoda Group Australia general manager of communications Karl Gehling said the brand would confirm details of the RS’s specifications closer to the launch, “but we are a little way off now”.

Unveiling the Octavia RS at Goodwood highlights Skoda’s desire to boost its presence in the passenger performance car market – the same segment in which the Golf GTI became a global best-seller.

29 center imageFrom top: 2013 Skoda Octavia and 2009 Skoda Octavia RS

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a four-day event held on the grounds of Goodwood House, owned by racing aficionado Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara.

Car-makers are increasingly using Goodwood as a way to show off the capabilities of new sports models or reveal a vehicle for the first time. Brands including Jaguar, Renault and Infiniti have all showcased performance cars in recent years.

The Octavia RS will take part in the Goodwood hill climb demonstration.

Australian sales of the mid-size Octavia are up by more than 45 per cent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year.

Mr Gehling said that the performance model was one of the top-selling Octavia variants in Australia, accounting for over 20 per cent of sales.

“It’s pretty strong, it’s actually one of the volume models of the range,” Mr Gehling said.

“That’s sort of been reflected in our performance variants across the Volkswagen Group.”

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