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VIVEK VENUGOPAL

February 15

What are the odds, you go to a Skoda dealership to give your car for a service, have a casual look at the new cars on display and take the decision to pick up a new Laura RS? He was finding reasons to justify the RS and Chacko Mani said to himself “ My running wasn’t much,so I could live with a petrol car” and at the end of the day he had two cars to drive home. Picking up the RS was one thing, modding it was another. It had barely done 500km, but already, the car had a set of B6 dampers, H&R springs and Borbet wheels. They waited for the engine to complete a 1000km run-in before going for the turbo upgrade.

The exteriors have been subtly enhanced with Milotec bits like the front chin. The original RS grille with its vertical slats and chrome surround has been replaced with a body coloured one with meatier hexagonal mesh.

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The stock interiors of the RS are retained and it’s hard not to see why. The Laura RS is one car where everything from the Alcantara seats to the black headlining ooze sportiness, even in its stock form. There is very little to change in here, so Chacko spent the rest of his greenbacks under the hood.

A stage II upgrade on the 1.8TSI including bolting on a new JBS05 turbo, upgrading the exhaust to a custom JBS unit and a Custom Code Remap. It is quite drivable for the power on offer. There is some turbo-lag below 2700rpm and then when it wakes up, it takes off like a rocket. We didn’t time this one, but earlier tests on a car with similar mods, did get us from 0-100kmph in 7.18seconds. That is nearly a second and half from the standard car’s time. 140kmph comes up in 12.02 seconds which is almost five seconds faster. Behind the wheel, it feels much faster, mainly because the turbo delivers all its punch in one go after 2700rpm all the way till you near redline. Acceleration is savage in second gear and a quick gear change to third puts you back in the powerband where it starts all over again.

The Bilstein B6 and H&R combination takes care of the performance the car is now capable of, and to ensure that it all comes to a halt when needed, the brakes have been upgraded to Tarox high performance ones.

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BY VIVEK VENUGOPAL

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