The Laura looks the freshest of all the Skodas, but the overall design comes across as safe and lacking in character. It is sharper looking and has a more prestige-like exterior style than the Octavia. The prominent grille, the elevated ridge at the centre of the bonnet, the kink in the rear or C-pillar and the squared-off tail give it the more grown up look. If you look closely at the Laura's nose, you also see hints of its large stable-mate, the Superb, especially around the area of the headlights.
The range-topping 2.0-litre oil-burner for the Laura puts out a healthy 140bhp and adds to the line-up of the 1.8-litre turbo petrol and the 1.9-litre Pumpe-düse engine that the Laura always had. It’s a familiar engine – we’ve seen it in the new Superb and the Volkswagen Passat (the VW has since shifted to a common-rail unit), and it comes with a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox. It’s available only in the top-of-the line Laurin & Klement trim and costs Rs 20 lakh, a pretty substantial Rs 2.4 lakh over the 1.9.
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Issue: 180 | August 2014
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