Nearly 20 years after the debut of the original, Skoda has pulled the wraps off the fourth-generation of its heated-up Octavia RS liftback and wagon.
However, whereas its predecessors have only offered conventional petrol and diesel engines, the latest RS is being launched in plug-in hybrid ‘iV’ trim.
It combines a 110kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an 85kW/330Nm electric motor for combined outputs of 180kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
If those outputs sound familiar, that’s because they are: it’s the exact same powertrain used by the Octavia RS’ sister cars, namely the Volkswagen Golf GTE, Cupra Leon and recently-revealed Cupra Formentor.
Drive is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, enabling a 7.3-second sprint from zero to 100km/h – over half a second slower than the outgoing, petrol-only RS’ 6.6-second claim.
That’s due to the weight of the 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which provides an all-electric range on the WLTP cycle of 60km and CO2 emissions of just 30g/km.
Top speed is rated at 225km/h – 25km/h down on the outgoing petrol car.
Visually, onlookers can tell the RS apart from the standard Octavia via a unique front fascia with larger air intakes and new LED fog lights, black front grille, 18-inch alloy wheels (with 19s available as an option), dual exhaust outlets and red accents on the brake calipers and rear bumper.
The liftback also scores a black lip spoiler on the rear decklid, while the wagon gets a chunkier roof spoiler.
Inside, RS-specific additions include a three-spoke, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Alcantara dashboard and door panels, RS badging and new front sports seats available with cloth or Alcantara upholstery.
European customer deliveries of the 2020 Skoda Octavia RS iV liftback and ‘Combi’ wagon are set to begin in the later months of the year.
Buyers seeking a more conventional drive will have the option of 180kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 147kW turbo-diesel power later in 2020, with the former set to be the sole option offered in Australia, where the Volkswagen Group has opted to skip hybrids altogether in favour of full electric vehicles.