Skoda Octavia vRS Bonneville special – Click above for high-res images
The Volkswagen Group is flush with vehicles capable of earth-shattering velocities. Porsche. Lamborghini. Bugatti. Even Bentley has demonstrated its propensity for the v-max with its Ice Speed Record Continental. And Audi models are regularly tuned for high-speed runs at Nardo. But Skoda? We've got to be kidding, right?
No. No we're not. The British unit of VW's Czech subsidiary is planning a run at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats with the vehicle you see here. Based on the Octavia vRS – itself a derivative of the old, old Volkswagen Jetta – this beast has had its 2.0-liter four turbocharged up to 592 horsepower to hit an anticipated top speed of more than 200 miles per hour.
Skoda brought tuning house Revo Technik on board for the job, fitting a KW suspension, a limited-slip differential and special rolling stock. The modified sedan will debut at Bonneville Speed Week in August, celebrating 10 years of the marque's vRS performance badge. Details in the press release after the jump.
ŠKODA TAKES ON BONNEVILLE SPEED WEEK......AT 200MPH
- Škoda to compete on legendary American salt flats to mark 10 years of vRS
- Specially built 600PS Octavia vRS aims to be the first 200mph Škoda
Simply Clever.....at more than 200mph! Škoda UK is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its iconic vRS performance flagship badge by going landspeed record racing.
A one-off modified Octavia vRS saloon has been entered into the world famous Bonneville Speed Week in August (13-20). Its aim is to break the magic 200mph barrier and join the most exclusive club in motoring.
The brand's UK technical team at Milton Keynes has been working in secret on the vehicle for several months, with the assistance of performance software and tuning outfit REVO Technik.
The car is a factory-fresh production Octavia vRS, but some changes have been made to improve aerodynamics and performance. That includes lowering it to run almost 80mm closer to the ground and a new sub-frame which houses a race prepared intercooler.
It retains its production-standard 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine but the standard turbo has been replaced with a more advanced unit from respected component firm Garret. Generating up to 600PS, and producing 26-28 PSI of boost pressure, it drinks high-octane race fuel (with water methanol mix)rather than unleaded petrol.
The unique racer has been built to stringent Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) safety regulations, which means a reinforced roll cage, parachute, fire extinguishers and window cage.
Since its launch in 2001, vRS has captured the hearts of UK motorists who enjoy the thrill of sports car driving. Since then, the UK has become Škoda'slargest market for the Octavia and Fabia vRS with more than 12,000 cars sold since launch.
Robert Hazelwood, Director for Škoda UK, said: "The 10-year relationship between the UK and the vRS badge has been extremely successful. This is a landmark anniversary and going to Bonneville is a fitting tribute. It's also an ambitious project which might surprise a few people, but Škoda is all about engineering excellence and this car is pushing that to new limits."
The vRS is entered into the '2.0-litre production car' category and will race over a nine-mile straight, which includes a timed mile in the middle. Performance through that section determines the class winner.
The legendary Bonneville Salt Flats begin 90 miles west of Salt Lake City and cover around 50 square miles of north-western Utah. It has been the spiritual home to high-speed racing for almost a century and each August a variety of hot rods, roadsters, belly tankers, lakesters, motorcycles, streamliners and diesel trucks compete in Speed Week.
Škoda vRS models are designed to ignite the passion and thrill of sports car driving. They offer additional emotional involvement and an extra level of dynamic appeal, and stand out from the crowd thanks to their subtle but distinctive exterior features. These include aggressive bumpers, rear spoiler, bespoke alloy wheels and chromed exhaust tips. Inside, the attention to detail continues with fresh upholstery, unique badging and smart dashboard inserts.