Does that make the VW Golf GTI’s corporate cousin the performance bargain of the year in Singapore?
SINGAPORE — We’ve known for a while now that Skoda Singapore would be bringing in a performance version of the Octavia liftback, the RS 245. Well, anticipation has become reality, as it’s just announced that the car is now on sale; at a mind-boggling price of S$126,900 with Certificate of Entitlement.
Readers unfamiliar with the company might not have expected to see a performance car from such a value-driven brand, so here’s the low-down: The base “hot” Octavia, which we don’t get here, is the RS230, basically a Skoda-badged Golf GTI.
The RS 245 on the other hand, is based on the GTI Performance Pack, a forbidden fruit not available in Singapore, which adds 15hp and 20Nm to the 2.0-litre “EA888” four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed version of the DSG gearbox, and an electronically-controlled limited-slip front differential to help put that power down.
Total outputs now stand at 245hp and 370Nm of torque, although the 0-100km/h time is 0.3 seconds slower than the GTI’s at 6.7 seconds.
That’s primarily due to the Octavia’s larger body, which is a very worthwhile trade-off given how much versatility is on offer. It’s almost as spacious as cars from the class above, and has one of the biggest boots for its footprint: 590 litres with the seats up or 1,580 litres with them down.
But it’s the bang-per-buck ratio that is the RS 245’s most attractive feature. Its price is $34.5k less than that of the consummate hot hatch, the Golf GTI, and $27k less than another CarBuyer favourite, the Kia Stinger 2.0. Heck, it’s priced within a couple thousand bucks of the Mazda 6 and Toyota Camry. Calling the RS245 a bargain might even be an understatement.
The reason this for this is because in other markets, the RS 245 is priced above the GTI, which is clearly not the case here. And yet, you still get a huge amount of car for your money. The Octavia is mechanically similar to the VW Golf but is sized between the C-segment (e.g. Toyota Corolla) and D-segment (e.g. Camry) car classes and is priced toward the former.
We’re awaiting confirmation of exactly what features and options will be fitted, but overseas, standard goodies include 19-inch wheels, red brake calipers, part-suede sports seats, and an excellent 9.2” infotainment display.