Škoda Octavia RS iV: The Hot Czech Wagon You Can't Take Home
A 241-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain makes this wagon really haul.
Meet the new Škoda Octavia RS iV wagon, from the VW Group's Czech subsidiary. RS is Škoda's hot-rod sub-brand, and the iV (pronounced "I-V" like the medical drip, not "four" like the Roman numeral) is the plug-in-hybrid variant—a go-faster PHEV. Under the hood sits a 1.4 liter TSI direct-injected gasoline engine and an 85-kW electric motor. Together they deliver 241 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters. If those specs sound familiar, that's because this is basically the same powertrain used in another refugee from the cancelled 2020 Geneva show, the just-announced Volkswagen Golf GTE.
Škoda claims a zero-to-62-mph time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed just shy of 140 mph—not bad for an eco-wagon. And if you happen to run into one of those congestion-zone-charge thingies they have in Europe, you're covered—the 13-kWh battery gives the Octava RS iV an electric-only range of 37 miles on the WLTP cycle, which would translate to around 25 to 30 miles on the EPA cycle.
The RS upgrades also include tighter suspension tuning, blacked-out body trim and wheels, red-painted brake calipers, and a black interior with either red or silver accents. Škoda sells the Octavia RS iV as a hatchback with a sedan profile (think Buick Regal Sportback), which is cool enough, but of course it's the wagon we want, because...well, because it's a wagon.
Incidentally, Škoda also offers an Octavia iV PHEV with 201 hp as well as mild-hybrid versions with 148 or 109 hp, but we can't be bothered with any of those.
The chances of getting the Octavia RS iV in North America are roughly akin to the proverbial snowball in hell; if we saw this powertrain anywhere, it'd probably be in the VW GTI or the Jetta GLI, both of which use the same MQB platform as the Octavia. This sort of thing would make perfect sense for Volkswagen's electric-fueled mea culpa, but so far there are no plans to bring anything like this to the United States. Folks in Europe can't get the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, so maybe we can arrange some kind of trade—our oversized American model for their hot, fast Czech.