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Skoda's Octavia RS 245 could be the performance bargain of the year

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Above: The RS 245 is the most powerful variant of Skoda's Octavia, a liftback sized halfway between a mid-size family car and full-size saloon.

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The interior (above) has the roominess Octavias have come to be known for. The RS 245 boot can hold 590 litres of stuff - before the rear seats are folded.

Singapore

SKODA'S reputation is based on value-for-money motoring with the exacting standards of German engineering, and the Czech brand's lineup in Singapore so far consists of roomy, practical fare. But that's about to be spiced up with a sporty number.

The RS 245 is the most powerful variant of Skoda's Octavia, a liftback that is sized halfway between a mid-size family car (like a Toyota Corolla) and full-size saloon (like a Toyota Camry).

A source from Skoda Centre Singapore, which handles the brand here, says the Octavia RS 245 will be launched this month, although its price has yet to be finalised.

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Skoda models utilise major components from parent company Volkswagen; in the Octavia RS 245's case, the VW Golf GTI is the major donor.

In some ways, however, the Octavia RS 245 is even sportier than the GTI. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is slightly more brawny, with 15 more horsepower and 20 Newton-metres more torque, for a total of 245hp and 370Nm.

In spite of that, it is slightly slower to 100kmh, taking 6.7 seconds to hit that benchmark speed.

That is due to its larger, heavier body. Roominess has always been something of an Octavia trait, and the latest one has plenty of rear legroom, as well as a boot that can swallow 590 litres of stuff - and that is before you fold the rear seats.

The basic Octavia, with a 1.0-litre turbo engine, currently costs S$99,900, but based on how much it is priced in other countries, the RS 245 could cost an estimated S$170,000, including Certificate Of Entitlement.

Given how powerful the engine is, that is still something of a bargain. Skodas usually offer plenty on a price-per-square-foot basis, but the Octavia RS 245 will rank highly in terms of horsepower-per-dollar, too.