Skoda Laura RS - Performance Review
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Performance Review of Skoda Laura RS
Last Updated at 03:25 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
The Laura vRS handles so well, that for a moment you’ll forget it’s a front-wheel drive car | Photography: Eshan Shetty | Video Edit: Ashish Heblekar
Now the RS badge stands for 'Rally Sport' but let's not get any optimistic ideas here - this car is not meant to jump over bumps or go side ways on the off-road! Instead the RS badge means that Skoda's put in some bits from their rally expertise to make this car a lot of fun on tarmac. And FUN it definitely is!
Under the hood, the Laura vRS gets the same 1.8-litre petrol engine that powers the TSI variant. In fact, it even produces the same 160 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque at the exact same spots on the rev-range. But though the on-paper figures are similar in both the cars, the vRS is different to drive. The engine feels very alive as compared to the one in the stock car. The unit feels rev-happy and manages to sprint from a naught to 100 km/h in less than 9 seconds! Sure, that is not enough for you to say ‘mine’s bigger’ when you pull up next to a similar-engined Laura TSI – but show the two cars some twisties and the vRS will tell you who is better.
Though there is no official word from Skoda, the suspension on this car feels stiffer as compared to stock Laura TSI. Add to it the wider, 205-section sticky rubber (as compared to the 195-section tyres on the Laura TSI) and you have a car that goes ballistic through the corners. In fact the Laura vRS reminds me of the old video game called the ‘Quake III Arena’ – both these are the perfect examples of the ‘point and shoot’ phenomenon. No matter what price-bracket a performance car belongs to, when it feels so sure-footed through the corners, you know you have got your suspension and tyre setup perfectly right. Skoda India should pat its own back for achieving this with the Laura vRS.
Now look at this way (and this is strictly for an average Joe like you and me) – there is no point waiting for your perfect, high-end sports car. By the time you amass enough money to buy a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, those cars could have gone electric. All that could be coming out of those exhaust pipes would be air that people can breathe and the artificial sounds of a petrol car that could be controlled by you iPhone – and that would beat the point of owning a performance car.
As optimistic and far-stretched as it may sound, the time to enjoy a petrol car is right now. Before the last drop of petrol evaporates from the face of this earth, the Laura vRS is the kind of car that every petrolhead needs to own, drive, enjoy and live to talk about. If you don’t believe me, go take a test drive yourself!
First Published on 11:41 am, January 30, 2012