The Highest selling car from the Czech brand now has the first plug-in hybrid RS variant along with a range of manual and automatic transmissions.

The Octavia, Skodas best-selling model till date and accounting for 40% of sales around the world has got the new top trims for the sedan and the estate car. The RS and the Scout, both have remained as the top tier trims of the Octavia over the years offering unparalleled performance and features. Additionally Skoda has even released the first ever plug-in hybrid version to the RS brand name.

Talking about the Octavia RS first, it is the continuation of how the previous RS models have been presented which have made it one of the popular choices amongst sporty sedans. Now with the presence of three different powertrains, the Diesel, Petrol and the Plug-in Hybrid adds further dynamism to the car. It is important to note that the RS variant is available on both the Sedan and the Estate car, and other than the difference in the body style, the two are exactly the same.

The 2 litre TSI engine makes 245 PS and 370 Nm of Torque and is the most powerful option available for the RS. the diesel 2 litre TDI makes 200 PS and 400 Nm of Torque, the FWD TSI comes with 6-speed manual and a 7-Speed DSG while the TDI is available only with the automatic transmission and the added AWD option. The TSI engine has been lifted from the Octavia RS 245, but reworked to improve its weight and efficiency. The TDI is similar to its EVO engine lineups, but comes with aluminium block and pistons to reduce weight and improve efficiency.

The TSI RS comes with  a Limited Slip Differential which keeps the power flowing to the wheels and improves grip, its behavior can be altered by using Normal or Sport modes. The AWD system in the diesel car comes with the new multi-plate clutch that is lighter. The system is able to sense changes in driving style or conditions in a split second and react to it keeping the driving dynamics of the car optimum at all times, while cornering at high speeds which lead to loss of speed and grip, the torque is sent to the outer wheel because the inner wheel loses grip thus ensuring a sportier drive character.

Visually the RS has a more aggressive design which is executed by providing small cosmetic upgrades, the full LED headlamp and taillamp assembly being one of them, the bumpers front and back are also different in the RS. The detailing around the car done in black which contrasts inside and out gives the signature RS look. On the estate, the roof rails and the rear diffuser are in black, along with the spoiler on the sedan. Tastefully picked out parts are done in black to ensure that the car does not look too ‘loud’ but rather announces its performance driving subtly. The wheels can be chosen from either 18 or 19 inch RS specific alloys which come with distinctive red brake callipers.

The sport chassis on the RS lowers the car by 15mm while the Adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control is optional but provides advanced damping and a sportier drive. The RS even provides the driver with superior control over the drive characteristics like the steering, damping and transmission that can be adjusted by the screen inside. The interior like its predecessors is dominated by black and sport oriented designs, with use of carbon fibre and alcantara. Contrasting red stitching can be found on the seats and the steering, the seats are sporty and come with height adjustment and massage options. The instrument panel is a 10.25 inch unit while the infotainment screen is a 10 inch one, the car has an integrated SIM card that keeps it connected to the internet and uses the smart services at all times.

The Scout trim available on the estate car adds a significant amount of ruggedness and utilitarian features for a tougher use away from paved roads. The sturdy car is immediately recognizable by the underbody protection which is in silver, along with the roof rails and side mirrors. The bumpers on both front and rear are distinctive to the standard Octavia or the RS, and function as superior protection for the outdoors, and so does the black plastic cladding provided on the wheel arches and diffuser. The fog lights on the Scout are LED and it rides on 18 or 19 inch alloys, which also come in Anthracite color.

This generation of the Octavia Scout is the first one to come with the FWD option as well,  so is the mild hybrid powertrain. The starting engine is a 1.5 litre TSI with 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque and is only available with the FWD and 6-speed manual gearbox configuration, if one adds the hybrid motor to it named the 1.5 litre TSI e TEC, a 7-Speed DSG is available. The 2 litre TSI makes 190 PS and comes with AWD and DSG gearbox, while the three 2 litre TDI options offer 116PS, 150PS and 200PS and with only the lowest powered one featuring the 6-speed manual and FWD and the rest coming with the DSG and AWD configuration. It is clear that the Scout offers all kinds of powertrains depending upon the need.

The Scout also offers Dynamic Chassis Control as an option for the 2 litre engine options, which can be customised for superior off-road driving with more control and comfort. The off-road drive selection also automates the drive stability which improves grip on rocky tracks. Hill-descent control and multi-link rear axle are some of the other features of the Scout.

The Scout starts at 31,000 Euros (INR 27 Lacs) for the lowest variant while the RS Sedan starts at a similar price range of 31,500 Euros (INR 28 Lacs) and the RS Estate is a thousand Euros costlier. Currently in India, Skoda has not released the new generation of the Octavia and is expected to do so by 2021.

Anagh Bhaskar

Anagh Bhaskar

I am a journalism grad who has always had a passion towards machines, especially cars and war machines, the sheer competitiveness of the industry which works with the same enthusiasm everyday without fail is what fascinates me. Favourie Car: Nissan GT-R R35 Quote: What you do in life echoes in eternity- Russell Crowe, Maximus, Gladiator