American buyers in the market for a hot hatch from the Volkswagen Group can choose between the GTI or the Golf R, but our compatriots overseas have more options at their disposal, all based on the same platform. They can go for more Latin flavor in the Seat Leon Cupra (available in two states of tune) or for the more low-key Škoda Octavia RS. But soon, it seems, they'll have another choice on their hands in the form of an even more potent Octavia.
One of the highlights of covering a European auto show like Frankfurt is the amount of forbidden fruit on hand. Most of the cars we admire from across the pond, like this Škoda Octavia RS, are on display, allowing us to see them, sit in them and push their buttons.
Skoda, oh Skoda. You're just so cool. Maybe it's the fact that it's a brand that we don't get in these United States, but Skoda's rebadged Volkswagens, in particular the new Octavia vRS shown here, are just different enough from the hum-drum VWs on our shores that the Czech brand seems strangely desirable. Maybe we're just craving forbidden fruit.
There are places you expect to find a Škoda, and places you don't. European streets, for example, fall squarely into the former category. Dried up lake beds in the United States, however, belong firmly in the latter. But someone forgot to tell that to the people who make the Czech Volkswagen derivatives.