The Skoda Octavia RS has been given a comprehensive facelift, bringing it in line with the standard car that was revamped in October. The upgrades consist of changes to the design, some added technologies as well as a slight increase in power.

At the front, the RS gets the controversial front end design introduced on the regular variants – inspired by the Kodiaq SUV, the new face features four separate “crystalline” headlights (now full-LED units) flanking a wider grille. The triple air intakes low down have also been made wider and more aggressive, while the rear of the car gets new C-shaped LED tail lights and LED number plate illumination.

Inside, there are new infotainment systems, with all but the base Swing head unit getting a capacitative touchscreen. The top-of-the-range unit, Columbus, features navigation, a 9.2-inch display, a WiFi hotspot and optional LTE connectivity. Items distinguishing the RS from other Octavias include leather-and-fabric sports seats (now with an Alcantara option), a multifunction sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals.

The RS soldiers on with two powertrain options, but while the TDI version retains the 184 hp/380 Nm 2.0 litre turbodiesel, the petrol’s 2.0 litre turbo mill puts out an extra 10 hp, bumping outputs to 230 hp and 350 Nm. This essentially means the power output of the previous hardcore RS 230 model is now standard.

Both models come with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, with the TDI also available with all-wheel drive with the DSG. Zero to 100 km/h takes 7.9 seconds in the TDI and 6.7 seconds with petrol power, while the top speeds are 232 km/h and 250 km/h respectively. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 4.5 litres per 100 km for the TDI and 6.5 litres per 100 km for the petrol.

Under the skin, the sports suspension has been made 15 mm lower, and the rear track is now 30 mm wider than the previous RS. Also fitted is Performance Mode Select with an optional Performance Sound Generator, an XDS+ electronic limited-slip differential and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) with Comfort, Normal and Sport modes.

Safety-wise, the Octavia RS comes with Front Assist with city emergency braking and predictive pedestrian protection, along with Crew Protect Assist which closes windows and sunroofs if it senses an imminent accident. New features include Trailer Assist that helps you reverse with a trailer attached, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert.