220-hp TSI model has been replaced by a slightly stronger version.
It was almost two months ago when Skoda took the wraps off the Octavia facelift, but without showing the performance vRS model and the rugged wagon-only Scout. Now, one of the pieces of the puzzle has fallen into place as the sporty version in both liftback and wagon flavors has been revealed with the same rather peculiar split headlight design featuring optional adaptive full-LED tech. The front fascia obviously looks better than it does on the lesser Octavia models, but we still wouldn’t call it attractive mainly because of the unusual lights.
Moving at the back, Skoda’s designers are giving the taillights a mild update with slightly changed graphics and an all-LED configuration as standard. In addition, also noticeable is a full-width red reflector lamp sitting above the glossy black diffuser flanked by the dual exhaust tips. Rounding off the changes are the LEDs replacing the conventional bulbs illuminating the license plate.
As far as the oily bits are concerned, Skoda is dropping the 220-hp version of the 2.0 TSI engine, which means initially you’ll only be able to get the version with 230 hp (169 kW). We’re using the word “initially” because rumor has it a beefier gasoline model will join the lineup in 2017 and it will likely have 245 hp (180 kW) to match the Golf GTI facelift. There aren’t any changes on the diesel front, so the 2.0 TDI will solider on with 184 hp (135 kW) delivered to the front wheels or to an optional AWD setup.
Fitted with the 2.0 TSI engine generating 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque, the Octavia RS facelift will run to 62 mph (100 kph) in 6.7 seconds and top out at an electronically capped 155 mph (250 kph). Go for the diesel and you get an extra 22 lb-ft (30 Nm) of torque and better fuel economy, but the sprint time will increase to 7.9 seconds and maximum velocity will drop to 144 mph (232 kph).
The gasoline version and the front-wheel-drive diesel come as standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but you can pay more and opt for the six-speed dual-clutch ‘box. The latter will be the sole offering for the TDI-powered AWD model.
Compared to less punchy Octavias, the RS sits 15 mm lower thanks to the sports suspension and has a 30-mm wider rear track than the model it replaces. In addition, Skoda is painting the brake calipers in red and has an array of 17- to 19-inch alloy wheels, with the largest set also available in silver. Some of the other goodies include progressive steering, selectable driving modes, Dynamic Chassis Control, and the controversial (optional) Performance Sound Generator.
Images of the interior cabin have not been released, but the changes should be in line with those of the non-RS models. That means Skoda is going to fit the sporty compact liftback and wagon with a new array of infotainment systems featuring capacitive-touch displays measuring 8 inches for Bolero and Admusen while the top-spec Columbus will grow to 9.2 inches.
Skoda will have the Octavia RS facelift on sale in the first months of 2017.