It may be nearing the end of its life, but this generation of the Octavia still looks fresh. And in RS trim, it looks even better. The Mk3 Octavia RS is godsend to anyone who wanted an immensely practical, fast car that is relatively affordable. You could buy one as a family car and daily drive it while being able to hold a candle to many entry level sports cars.
This particular one has been done up rather tastefully. The unique ‘b.fifty5 Mesh series’ 18 inch wheels, look perfectly suited for the car’s character. The red and black combination works really for the Octavia RS. The extra stripe running along the sides go well with the rest of the car despite it crossing an upward swept character line on the rear bumper. The front canards are well integrated into the front bumper. The more you look, the more details you will find. There is a Maxton spoiler cap that sits on top of the standard RS spoiler giving it more definition. Also there is a black pin stripe along the shoulder and you know its owner has got taste.
APR is a big name in the European tuning scene and is highly revered among VAG enthusiasts. This Octavia RS has tricklings of APR goodies, thanks to Harmonixx Tuning of Bangalore, who has done over 60 RSes including one with over 500 bhp! The engine gets an enhanced intake system, a performance turbo inlet, a downpipe and resonator delete, a muffler delete – all courtesy of APR. It also gets a Stage 2 APR Performance Tune along with an APR Performance TCU Tune for the dual clutch gearbox.
The result is an Octavia RS that hasn’t got the memo about the new road fines and wants to reintroduce you to your breakfast that morning. The beauty is all these updates are so matched to one another, they deliver a punch twice as strong as the regular RS230. The wide powerband of the EA888 motor combined with its free revving nature was never short on thrills, but the added bump in power is evident right from when the turbo spools up. You get a lungful of acceleration out of any engine speed and the DSG box is now even faster delivering it to you. The Forge blow-off sounds sweet between every upshift and you can drive this Octavia RS all day and still not get tired of it. The tuners estimate approximately 330bhp and 530Nm and it surely feels that way. We even managed to time it, though not properly, against our Racelogic and it did a 0-100kmph time of 5.9 sec with two people on board, lots of fuel and very, very wet roads. Had it been a cool morning with some dry tarmac, it would have easily been half a second faster, may be more. There are other APR stuff like Dog Bone mounts, an oil catch can etc and these are for longevity.
The car sits on Eibach Pro-Street S coilovers that makes it a little sharper on anything less than ideal roads. Yes, they lend the chassis with even better response than stock, which coupled with the electromechanical differential, makes it very capable on the twisties. The e-diff, it must be noted, can send upto 100 percent torque to whichever wheel can cope with it, making for lesser scrabble and a tighter line. When this car was being developed, the Octavia RS230 with its e-diff was nearly ten seconds faster at the Nurburgring compared to a standard Octavia RS. This particular car also gets black diamond pads with slotted and drilled rotors. The owner prefers this setup than to commit to a big brake kit and live with the constant squealing that come with it. Those work great for the track, but for street use, these black diamond stuff does the job well.
All through the story, we haven’t mentioned whose car it was. Well, this belongs to a Doctor in Kochi who doesn’t want to be named. He says the extra performance comes in ‘handy’ for emergencies – when he wants to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. After spending a morning with it, we don’t see why it should be done any another way!