2017 Skoda Octavia RS is here with a refresh image

The Czech automaker has decided to keep the quirky front split light looks for the hardcore iteration of the Octavia series, which arrives with a range of updates inspired by its regular sibling.

Just a couple of months ago Skoda decided to surprise everybody by breaking up the VAG Group tradition of making unidentifiable updates to its models – though some say this was not done in the best way possible. The Octavia series got the facelift for its mid life-cycle refresh, but the company decided to hold out from showing the performance vRS model or the crossover-inspired Scout. Now the former is out in the open, with the sporty variant showcasing the liftback and wagon body styles, complete with the polarizing split front headlights. The front end is more dynamic than with a regular Octavia, though its headlights (with optional full-LED) remain a matter of acquired taste. At the back there aren’t ample changes – slightly changed graphics and an all-LED configuration as standard for the taillights. There’s also a full-width red reflector lamp adorning the top of the glossy black diffuser which incorporates dual exhaust tips.

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Meanwhile, the hood internals have been stripped of the 220-hp variant of the 2.0 TSI engine, so the mill now comes out to play with 230 hp (169 kW). The diesel version still uses the same 2.0 TDI with 184 hp (135 kW) with optional AWD. The 2.0 TSI engine packs 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque, enough for the Octavia RS to sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.7 seconds while the diesel adds some 22 lb-ft (30 Nm) of torque as well as better fuel economy figures, but the performance is decreased to 7.9 seconds to 62 mph (100 km/h). The front wheel drive models get a standard six-speed manual gearbox, while the optional six-speed dual-clutch transmission is the only one available on the TDI-powered AWD.