Just a couple of weeks back, I was elated when the topic of discussion between fellow Drivetriber Shivaum and me was the Skoda Octavia vRS. I adored the car for its looks and sleeper performance while still being entirely practical for Indian roads. It turns out that happiness was short-lived when he told me, India won’t be getting any more current-gen Octavia vRS’. Or are we?
It looks like my jubilation is soon to scale new heights as Skoda India has some exciting news. Right out of the blue moon, the Czech company have confirmed their plans of getting the Octavia vRS back in India for the Auto Expo 2020. Some more good news? They’re planning to get another 200 units of the vRS for sale in India. A bit more music to your ears? All upcoming 200 units are Euro-spec.
Speaking to Autocar India, Zac Hollis, Director of Sales, Service and Marketing at Skoda Auto India, said, “The Octavia RS is on the ships and heading to India. As a CBU, limited to 200 cars, all individually badged models and I expect them to be sold out very quickly”. He further added, “We will take orders centrally and there will be no demonstrators or courtesy cars; all cars will go to enthusiastic Skoda customers”.
Being a Euro-spec car, Skoda has made several changes from the 2018 Octavia vRS which was sold in India prior to this. And boy, the changes are for the better. For instance, more power has been extracted from the four-cylinder TSI petrol engine. Now 15 more horses do the duty under the hood, joining the initial 230 horses. It receives more blacked-out chinks at numerous places as well, including the likes of headlights, tail lamps, exhaust tips and wing mirrors.
Due to the addition of a sports chassis, the ride height is further lowered by 15mm. Although this will have a positive effect on the handling characteristics of the car, potholes and bumps (concerning Indian roads) will have to be handled with surgical delicacy. Also adding to the delicate part of problems are the 18-inch wheels which come as standard. However, I’m assuming the additional tech provided in this Euro-spec version, which includes a bigger infotainment screen, might be enough to cancel out these negatives.
And there’s one last additional bummer — the price. If you’ve read this far, one cannot possibly imagine Skoda selling this vRS under the same price as in 2018. Much to our annoy, they haven’t. The Czech company will be importing this Octavia vRS as a CBU unit which already bumps the prices up a bit. Furthermore, the additional power, jazzy wheels and those minor tweaks for better performance also sum up to take the price tag to more than INR 36 lakhs (£38,000 or $50,000) approximately.
While Skoda got down a total of 500 units of the previous iteration in 2017, 300 units initially and later 200 to meet the surging demand, just 200 units have been assigned this time for India. Launch details are expected to be revealed before or during the Indian Auto Expo 2020.