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Skoda Octavia RS TSI pumped to 169kW

Petrol potential: With a little more power, Skoda’s Octavia RS TSI will be as hot as the limited edition RS230 that launched locally in November.

Facelifted Skoda Octavia RS pair arriving Down Under in August 2017

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Skoda logo21 Dec 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

SKODA’S Octavia facelift, which is due in Australia in standard trim in July, has now been revealed adorning the nose of the performance flagship RS liftback sedan and wagon, along with a power boost of 7kW for the petrol TSI version.

The changes to the driver-focused Octavia will arrive Down Under a month after the rest of the range bringing the same output of 135kW and 380Nm from the 135TDI but a new beefier figure of 169kW and 350Nm for the 169TSI petrol.

With its extra grunt, the standard petrol RS has the same power as the exclusive Octavia RS230, that was limited to just 70 examples on Australian turf, and acceleration from zero to 100km/h is now a tenth of a second faster than the previous RS taking 6.7 seconds, matching the RS230. Top speed remains at a limited 250km/h.

Exact Australian specification is yet to be confirmed but it is most likely that the Octavia RS will be offered locally with a choice of manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with front-wheel drive, as it is currently, and not the four-wheel drive option available in Europe.

Pricing is also not expected until closer to the launch date but is not likely to deviate greatly from the current pricing of $37,890 before on-road costs for the 162TSI and $41,290 for the 135TDI in sedan form. Wagons attract a $1700 premium.

The RS styling update follows a similar direction as the version that was unveiled for the sub-RS variants in October, with a wider grille and divided LED headlight units with a “crystalline” look, while larger air intakes in the redesigned front bumper hint at the higher performance engines.

At the back end, a new black diffuser and boot/roof spoiler add a high-performance look along with a new C-shaped LED tail-light design and broad reflector strip that divides the diffuser and painted body section.

Interiors appear largely unchanged with RS-Sport seats in a combination of leather and fabric but customers can upgrade to an optional Alcantara upholstery. A multi-function steering wheel covered in perforated leather is also standard with gear-shift paddles in automatic versions.

Occupants are reminded of the high-performance potential when boarding by RS-branded trims on the door sills, while ambient lighting, aluminium pedals and illuminated door handles are standard.

A couple of Skoda’s ‘Simply-Clever solutions’ have added a handy umbrella stored under the passenger seat, while a removable, rechargeable LED torch lives in the boot of the wagon.

Handling and road-holding has also been given a tweak for the new RS with 15mm lowered suspension compared with the outgoing RS, while the track has been widened 30mm for greater stability.

It rides on 18-inch wheels that house red brake callipers, but wheels can be optionally upgraded to 19-inch at the customer’s request.

A new range of driver assistance and safety systems accompany the RS update including Trailer Assist, blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert and a Crew Protect Assist function which has carried over from Volkswagen models and closes the windows and sunroof if a collision is likely.

A glass 9.2-inch touchscreen forms the centre of Skoda’s various information systems including top-spec Columbus navigation, mobile internet hot spot and an optional LTE module.

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