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The Skoda Octavia RS is a fast car from Eastern Europe

It's also practical, just like all of the Czech automaker’s products

The black grille and the RS badge mean this is no ordinary Skoda. PHOTO FROM SKODA

Though not a familiar automobile here in the Philippines, the Skoda Octavia is akin to the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla in Europe. It’s one of the Czech automaker’s best-selling nameplates, and has Volkswagen Golf underpinnings. But just like the Civic and the Golf, this sensible commuter car also has a spicy performance variant, and it’s called the RS.

We seriously want the estate-body Octavia RS. PHOTOS FROM SKODA

Unusual for most performance models, the Octavia comes in turbocharged gasoline and diesel flavors. The TSI mill is good for 242hp and 370Nm, while the TDI lump has 197hp and 400Nm. Buyers can have the petrol version with a six-speed manual transmission or can spec the oil-burning variant with all-wheel drive. Both engines can launch the Octavia RS to 100km/h in around seven seconds.

Plenty of reminders that this is a performance car. PHOTOS FROM SKODA

Of course, the RS isn’t complete without aggressive-looking aero bits such as a splitter, a lip spoiler and a diffuser, and larger brakes with red calipers peeking out behind the 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch rims are an optional extra). To top it all off, black trim replaces chrome accents around the body, most notably in the grille and window trim. The interior follows suit, too, with the RS logo adorning the two-tone red-and-black interior that’s lined in both leather and Alcantara.

Underneath all the go-fast jewelry is a sensible Skoda. PHOTOS FROM SKODA

But if you’re looking for something more practical and something you can take off-road, there’s the Octavia Scout. Alongside an extensive choice of powertrain choices including a mild-hybrid one, it also has the new Rough Road package, which gives the Scout 15mm of additional ground clearance, as well as fortified underbody protection.

The Octavia Scout can easily clear speed bumps the RS would’ve scraped. PHOTOS FROM SKODA

With clear market demand for enthusiast cars in the country, wouldn’t it be nice to see Skoda enter the Philippine market with the Octavia RS and give buyers more choices when it comes to performance vehicles?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.