RS models: Škoda’s true sporting spirit
Škoda has been associated with motorsport practically since its inception. The cars that continue this sporting tradition carry the RS designation. Check them out.
The Czech carmaker with a rich history in motorsport currently offers five RS models: the Octavia RS, Octavia RS iV, Kodiaq RS, Enyaq Coupé RS iV and, most recently, the Enyaq RS iV. “The RS models are the link between our brand’s motorsport achievements and our customers who want to drive a Škoda car with a sporty DNA,” says Daniel Petr, Škoda’s in-house sports car design specialist.
For many years, the backbone of the RS model range has been the Octavia RS, the brand’s best-selling model range has been available in this guise since the facelift of the first generation. In the current fourth generation, it has even been given a new type of powertrain. In addition to the petrol version with 180 kW (245 hp) and the diesel version with 147 kW (200 hp), there is also a plug-in hybrid version, the Octavia RS iV, which delivers a total output of 180 kW (245 hp) thanks to the combination of a 1.4 TSI and an electric motor. The wide range of choices does not stop at the engine type, however: customers can have the Octavia RS as a liftback or estate, with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and with manual or DSG transmission.
The “traditional” Octavia RS illustrates the philosophy of the entire range. “Customers like that the RS model differs from the regular versions of the model both in exterior and interior design. But all of that must be backed up by sports technology such as the car’s engine and chassis,” Daniel Petr explains. Design changes typically include revamped bumpers, different exhaust tips, spoilers, special wheel designs and a few other details. Inside, there are sports seats with distinctive lateral guidance, integrated head restraints and, of course, RS logos and other small additions.
At the same time, Daniel Petr points out that the design changes in the RS version are not simply for aesthetic reasons. “We modify the appearance in line with the sporting function of the car. We pay a lot of attention to engine and brake cooling, and aerodynamic fine-tuning is another focus,” explains the designer. The interior is all about the sporty atmosphere and safe and comfortable design (pedals, seats).
Škoda Octavia RS
Another RS model is the successful Kodiaq SUV. This was originally given a 2.0 TDI unit delivering 176 kW (240 hp). But a modernisation brought the 2.0 TSI petrol engine already known from the Octavia RS. Like the Octavia, the Kodiaq RS boasts the top-of-the-range equipment that is an integral part of all RS models.
Škoda Kodiaq RS
After many decades, the RS nameplate will also be competing in motorsport competitions. In fact, the rally car based on the fourth generation Fabia is called the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. The race car boasts a 1.6-litre engine with around 214 kW (289 hp) and is keen to build on the previous generation’s huge racing success.
Škoda Fabia RS Rally2
You might be surprised to learn that the Fabia RS Rally2 is not the Czech carmaker’s most powerful RS car. That accolade goes to two electric cars: the Enyaq Coupé RS iV and Enyaq RS iV.
The cars have a system output of 220 kW (300 hp), making them the most powerful Škoda production cars of all time. All-wheel drive is standard on these models. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 6.5 seconds for both versions. Top speed is limited to 180 km/h, 20 km/h more than the conventional electric car versions. The cars also use the largest battery configuration with a capacity of 82 kWh.
Škoda Enyaq Coupé RS iV
The Enyaq RS iV electric models thus represent a new chapter in Škoda’s sports car range. To symbolise this new era, it was the Enyaq Coupé RS iV that was adorned with the new RS logo, which the Enyaq RS iV has also been given, with other RS models to follow suit. But from a designer’s perspective, the electric sports Škoda actually involves less of a makeover. “There’s not as much technical and functional reworking needed, so the design changes are more cosmetic. This gives us a cleaner design solution, where we don’t have to deal with the incorporation of larger cooling vents, and of course details such as the exhaust tips are missing,” says Daniel Petr.
The electric era paves the way for further designs that will help define the future perception of Škoda’s RS sports models.
Škoda Enyaq RS iV
However, the designers put a lot of emphasis on further tweaking the aerodynamics of the car’s body and wheels. The drag coefficient is just 0.265 for the Enyaq RS iV and 0.234 even for the Enyaq Coupé RS iV. This is where the difference between the more practically shaped body of the Enyaq RS iV and the more graceful Enyaq Coupé RS iV comes into play.
This capitalises on the flexibility of the MEB platform, creating room for various solutions and variations. “The electric era paves the way for further designs that will help define the future perception of Škoda’s RS sports models,” the sports car designer says, hinting at further developments in this area.
Roots in motorsport
The current RS models hark back to Škoda’s rich history of sports cars. That began long before the RS name was even coined and includes legendary models such as the Škoda Popular Monte Carlo, Škoda 1101 Sport, Škoda 1100 OHC and others. The RS designation first appeared in 1974 on the Škoda 180 RS and Škoda 200 RS racing cars. The two letters stand for “Rally Sport”, a traditional discipline the Czech carmaker is a leading player in to this day. These two prototypes were followed in 1975 by the Škoda 130 RS, whose greatest achievement was the “double” in its category in the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally. In 1981, the Škoda 130 RS also won the overall European Touring Car Championship.
Škoda 200 RS (1974)
In modern history, the RS designation has also made its way into production models. The first RS model was the 2000 Octavia RS, which celebrated the arrival of the Octavia WRC racing car. The liftback and estate were then powered by a 1.8 TSI engine delivering 132 kW (180 hp). 2003 also saw the launch of the Fabia RS, derived from the first generation of the hatchback, which was the first to use a diesel engine under the bonnet of RS cars. However, it is the Octavia that has carried the tradition of RS models for the longest time, and with the second generation it began to offer both petrol and diesel engines. In motor racing, the latest car to feature the famous two letters in the name is the Fabia RS Rally2.