When driving fun meets comfort: Rally ace Oliver Solberg tests the Škoda Octavia RS

› Swedish rally driver Oliver Solberg took the current Škoda Octavia RS for a test ride and recorded his driving impressions in a video
The new Škoda Octavia RS offers a 195 kW (265 PS) petrol engine coming from the same family as the engine of Solberg’s Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 competition car
› New to the latest Škoda Octavia RS, an electronically controlled differential blends sportiness and driving agility with comfort on the road

Mladá Boleslav, 4 June 2024 – Motorsport has been part of Škoda’s DNA for more than 120 years. This heritage is traditionally reflected in the Škoda RS range. And the new Škoda Octavia RS is no exception, as Oliver Solberg confirms. The young rally driver from Sweden took the sportiest Octavia model for an extensive test drive.

Oliver Solberg usually competes in the FIA World Rally Championship at the wheel of a Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. Lately, the 22-year-old Swede youngster took the opportunity to test drive the new generation Škoda Octavia RS. He was delighted, how the Škoda engineers combined handling, practicality and comfort with sportiness, power and fun.

One key factor is the new engine delivering 195 kW (265 PS), an increase of 15 kW (20 PS) compared to the predecessor model.

“The immediately available power is great. You don’t have to think about the gear; all you have to do is touch the accelerator at any speed and the Octavia will shoot forward,”

Oliver Solberg 

The four cylinder turbo-charged engine of the new Škoda Octavia RS comes from the same family (EA 888) as the engine of Solberg’s Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 he uses in competition. “The engine of the Škoda Octavia RS has a quick response and reacts immediately to throttle commands,” he sums up.

New to the latest Škoda Octavia RS, an electronically controlled differential takes care of the perfect torque distribution between the driven front wheels. “This differential helps a lot in transferring power to the wheels. Even when exiting sharper corners with lower gears engaged, the inside wheel won’t spin and you won’t lose traction,” describes Solberg. “The front end also rolls very naturally into the corner under throttle. The car is stable and easily predictable.”

The new Škoda Octavia RS has also taken a step towards a sportier driving experience. The chassis sits 15 millimetres closer to the road, which significantly lowers the car’s centre of gravity. “This is crucial for better handling and responsiveness to steering, because when driving more dynamically, you need a car that goes exactly where you want it to go without unnecessary tilts,” emphasises Solberg. “The new Škoda Octavia RS is a little more spiced up with motorsport DNA.”

According to Solberg the new Škoda Octavia RS has retained what has adorned the model since its first generation: The driving comfort on long journeys. “The main strength of the Octavia RS is the combination of a reasonable speed and comfort on the road. The car is firm and precise, but the shock absorber settings are not too hard,” underlines Solberg.

The re-designed sharper front of the Škoda Octavia RS with a sportier look and new graphics of the standard LED Matrix headlights also pleases the young rally driver from Sweden. After the test ride, Oliver Solberg would have loved to keep the keys to the Škoda Octavia RS. Smiling, he expressed one wish: “Can I have it as a company car, please?”

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