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February 19

We have driven several souped up Skoda Octavias in the past, but this arguably is the maddest of them all. The black RS you see here is not meant to set big lap times, but it will scare you with its uncivilized nature and raw aggression.

Raj Paul Thomas, 24year old mechanical engineer wanted to grab what was possibly the last Octavia RS on sale that he didn’t bother it was yellow. The car was stripped down completely and given a coat of black before Raj took delivery of his motor.

Milotec honey comb badge-less sports grill, wheel arch extensions, spoiler edges at the front, air outlet trims for the front bumpers. If you look closely, you will notice that most of this is actually finished to look like carbon fibre. And this continues to the door mirrors, B pillar claddings, RS rear window spoiler. The front grill sports an RS logo, but that is actually the one from the Focus RS. 18inch Borbet LS alloys with 235/40 ZR18 Falken ZIEX ZE 326 tyres complete the look.

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The carbon fibre fetish continues into the interiors with the centre console, the instrument panel surround, the headlamp knob console, door handles etc receiving a covering of the woven variety. On top of the dashboard are an Autometer Phantom II boost gauge, Nokia Bluetooth hands-free device and three Indy-cator gauges. The front seats have been re-shaped with integrated headrests that bear the RS logo. Red piping continues with perforated black leather to adorn the steering wheel, centre armrest, gear boot, door pads, while the rest of the seats sport special effect leather finished to look like; you guessed it – carbon fibre. In place of the rear seats, you see rally car nets which some how make up for the weight of the audio system in the trunk.

An Alpine 9830 receiver, Rainbow components in the front, Image Dynamics co-axial speakers at the rear, twin Rockford Fosgate Punch series 12inch sub-woofers, two amps a four channel and a mono-block from Rockford Fosgate, tsunami capacitor, wiring used is zero gauge from tsunami and liberal damping on the entire car complete the audio. The audio sounds fantastic from the front seats, with the sound level just above the normal listening volume. Open the boot and pump up the volume and you get the sensation of being next to a powerhouse. Fall back a few feet away from the car and it starts to come together. Raj says the system is at its best with a wall twenty feet behind the car, reflecting the sound.

On the engine side, the RS has received Carbonio air intake (that is real carbon fibre) Miltek 2.75″ exhaust with de-cat, forge divertor valve, forge turbo intake pipe, Forge intercooler, and a remap which is supposed to raise the power output to 240bhp. Raj decided to run his stock turbo and clutch to the full before going in for an upgrade. So the former runs a 25psi. Surprisingly or rather worryingly, the 0-100kmph showed up in 8.8seconds which is about 0.3 seconds slower than the stock RS. So what was wrong? On our test, even after several repeated attempts, the tricky turbo made a proper launch very difficult. Even when we managed to get it off the line quickly, the shift to second gear was followed by more wheel spin. It struggles to lay down the power effectively. Add to that, the extra weight to lug around and you know.

The lack of a limited slip differential would hurt time on a track too, but it adds to the madness. When you have the turbo whistling at its optimum, you get a twitch at the steering to warn you about the abundance of torque and a whole lot of wheel spin in assertion. It however made amends past 100kmph with acceleration from 120-140kmph taking just 3.08 seconds. And that H&R cup suspension  makes sure that you are capable of dealing with the corners and the Tarox rotors and pads can rein in the fury. The suspension can be lowered by 40mm making it practical at the expense of looking hot.

With the omission of an LSD to harness the power and a heavy weight audio system residing in the trunk, Raj’s Octavia isn’t exactly meant to set the fastest lap times on a track. It is a fun car to drive around in town and cover huge distances in short time. It may lose out on outright performance but it more than makes up by plastering a big smile on the face of anyone who gets behind the wheel.

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