The next-gen Octavia RS, which is set to arrive by 2021, will have a hybrid variant in addition to internal-combustion engine options such as petrol or diesel.
Talking about a hybrid powertrain, Christian Strube, Skoda R&D boss said: “Octavia is a good possibility, perhaps in an RS version, because it’s a good mix between sustainability [and performance]. If you drive 70km, you can drive every day to work electrified and if you want to have some fun at the weekend you have an RS version. It’s really nice.”
Skoda is launching its first plug-in hybrid next year on the Superb. Strube said the PHEV would be more or less the same powertrain that was previewed on the Vision RS concept shown at the Paris motor show.
This combines a 150hp, 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and a 102hp electric motor to give a total output of 245hp and a claimed 0-100ph time of 7.1sec.
An Octavia RS hybrid would use a similar setup but would get more overall power to make it performance-car-worthy.
The fastest current Octavia RS is a 245hp petrol and achieves the benchmark sprint in 6.6sec. Any future model will look to trump that time. The only RS models currently on sale are the Octavia RS and the new Kodiaq RS.
There is no word on other RS models but a Karoq RS has been mooted. Strube said he would like to see one in the upcoming Rapid replacement, previewed in the Vision RS concept. “I think this fits perfectly. But you could also do one on the Superb.
“We are selling a lot of RS. I have two directions: to push the development for sustainability, such as electrification and on the other side, of course, I’m pushing all these RS versions because these make the brand a lot more emotional, which is important for economical sustainability.”
Skoda also has plans for pure electric RS models. Sales and marketing boss Alain Favey had told our sister publication Autocar UK that a performance version of its upcoming electric SUV will arrive in 2022 and is likely to be badged eRS.
Ahead of the next-generation Octavia RS, the fourth-generation Octavia will launch by 2020. The model is easily Skoda’s biggest selling car and that makes it crucial to its success.
The standard Octavia is also set to get a plug-in hybrid powertrain as one of five electrified vehicles confirmed by the brand to arrive by 2020.
In India, the current-gen Skoda Octavia RS, which has been recently removed from Skoda India's website, retailed at Rs 25.48 lakh (ex-showroom, India).