Snob-value Skoda Laura RS launched at Rs. 15.2 lakh!

Skoda India has launched the Laura RS in India at a price of Rs. 15.2 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. The car is powered by a 1.8-litre, turbo-petrol engine that makes 160 bhp of power and targeted at those looking at a need for speed.

The car certainly has the wow-factor with its looks, with just the right amount of chrome, snazzy alloy wheels and body kit, such as spoilers and skirts added to it. But is the Skoda Laura RS really value for money even for the car enthusiast?

Thomas Kuehl, director, sales & marketing, Skoda Auto India, says, “The Laura RS is a performance oriented product aimed at car enthusiasts who have an emotional connect with the car. It’s not a product you choose on pure rationale as the RS badge evokes tremendous passion among the owners.”

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Photo: The Skoda Laura RS is a premium sedan targeted at automobile enthusiasts

Fair enough. There’s a premium to pay for the RS badge. Besides the badge, what more snob value does the RS add?

Performance

It’s a sprightly performer alright. The Skoda Laura RS is powered by a 1.8 litre, DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 160 bhp of power at 4500-6200 rpm and a whopping 250 Nm of torque at 1500-4500 rpm. That torque output is known to generate wheelspins even in second gear on the Laura. This engine is mated to an excellent short-shifting, 6-speed manual transmission that encourages you to play boy-racer all day.

The turbocharged petrol engine also helps it deliver decent fuel economy, with a claimed mileage of 15 kmpl. In real world conditions, the petrol Laura is known to give about 10 kmpl.

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Photo: The Laura RS' steering wheel will appeal to the performance enthusiast, but it lacks the steering mounted audio controls of the regular Laura

Features

It has some distinguishing features that set it apart from the other Laura variants. It comes with some convenience features, but misses out on some. For instance, it has an electric sunroof, electric mirrors with auto-fold function, rear AC vents, xenon headlamps with washers and LED daytime running lamps, as well as a touch-screen infotainment system.

skoda laura rs features photo
Photo: Chrome tipped silencers, rear view mirrors with indicators and the vRS badge on the front grille

But it sorely lacks some equipment that’s par for the course in this segment and especially necessary for bragging rights that go with the RS badge. It does not have climate control, and only manually controlled air-conditioning. It does not have steering-audio controls, because the steering wheel is a different one from the other Lauras, sporting an RS badge.

When you think about that, the price suddenly seems a bit steep only for the RS badging.

Value for money

The Skoda Laura RS sounds like a good deal for those looking for a need for speed, with that additional bit of flair. Among petrol cars it competes with the Renault Fluence, Honda Civic and Toyota Altis. It’s more expensive than all these cars, but cheaper than the Maruti Kizashi. But we think it’s not really value for money. And here’s why.

The Skoda Laura RS is mechanically similar to its much cheaper cousins, the Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI Classic (priced at Rs. 11.99 lakh) and the 1.8 TSI Ambiente (priced at Rs. 13.48 lakh). A premium of Rs. 1.8 lakh to pay for the addition of badging, stylish upholstery, xenon lamps and body kit alone does not seem great value. In terms of performance, which should be the real differentiator, there is virtually no difference in the RS compared to the Ambiente and Classic petrol variants.

But if you want that bit of snob appeal, the Skoda Laura RS delivers the goods. Tell us what you think of the Laura RS.

Skoda Laura RS: Technical Specifications

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