THE NEW OCTAVIA RS is a fine machine. A dozen laps of the Top Gear Australia test track at yesterday???s launch left us in no doubt that even the ham-fisted will find it an entertaining and well-connected drive.
It also makes the perfect base for a project vehicle, in this case Skoda Australia???s Octavia RS-P (???P??? for project). Built to showcase the new Octavia RS, the RS-P has clearly been engineered for track-style performance.
Based on an Octavia RS wagon, the visual cues are discreet: black 18-inch alloys, green brake calipers and unique RS-P badging separate the RS-P from the RS. A closer look however reveals that this is a comprehensive make-over and not just a light engineering tweak.
Fully adjustable dampers replace the stock factory items and Yokohama ADVAN AO48 225/40R 18 tyres wrap the black alloys.
Front and rear strut-braces have been added to firm up the chassis, the rear suspension cross-brace taking up much of the wagon???s rear cargo area.
Brakes have been upgraded to 355mm front discs with four-pot calipers and 310mm rear discs, clamped by single piston calipers.
Power is up 3kW??? 5kWs over the standard RS???s 2.0-litre turbo, thanks to a three-inch stainless steel mandrel bent exhaust system and performance air-filter.
And there is more to come: Skoda Australia has confirmed that an ECU re-tune is planned for the RS-P that will see outputs rise to around 190kW and 350Nm.
RS-P badge-work features on the passenger side of the dashboard, tailgate and front grille making the whole ???project??? look very production ready. Don't hold your breath though as Skoda Australia says it has no plans to take the RS-P beyond ???project??? status.
While Octavia RS-Ps will not be gracing the forecourt of your local Skoda dealer, the car's existence tells us that there may be more to look forward to from Skoda Australia.