-Very few cars have ever been considered truly classless.
The VW Golf is one, the original MINI is another.
BMW's 3 Series is steadily becoming one but that's a little way off just yet.
I have a contender for another one.
This, the Skoda Octavia, but hear me out.
I do have a fairly good argument.
Since the VW Group took Skoda under its giant wing in 1991 then fully bought it in 2000, the cars falling out of the Czech Republic have been pretty good.
The engine is in the right place, bits don't fall off and that's because they're all VW's underneath which means this Octavia is actually a Golf.
There's one car that really stands out in the lineup though, the Octavia vRS.
In one form or another it's been around since 2001.
The car generation will cease production up to 4 years in the limelight and it'll be missed.
In 2011, the
vRS brand turned 10 and well while Skoda could've had a party with some pointy hats, maybe streamers, maybe a flaccid looking cake, they gave themselves a present that they're not seeming going to forget.
This is Skoda, the vRS present to itself.
It's one of those so flat car.
You see what they did was they took the engine out for petrol.
Octavia vRS changed the turbo for one roughly the size of a small African nation, did a few racing modifications and roll cage and the like, then put it on a boat and sent it to somewhere called Bonneville in Utah.
Bonneville has lots of salt and once a year for speed week, hundreds of petrol heads get together to see just how fast they can go.
It mostly hit 227.080 miles an hour, a new world
record for a 2-liter turbocharged production car.
-227.080 is the land speed record we hold.
-For 2-liter production car.
2-liter production car supercharged, so all the body work has to remain standard.
-All the windows have to be in.
You can't do any aerodynamic work other than what the rules state is necessary.
-So you can't do that.
-Well, you can't do duct tape?
-You can't gap the lines.
You can't add anything, any splitters.
-It's got to be
original silhouette of the vehicle.
-It's good for over 800 brake horsepower.
That's nearly Veyron territory and it's a Skoda, the car your older sister won't touch because she doesn't like the name.
Skoda has for some reason let us drive it, grunting for proving ground.
Now, we're told we can get about 150 miles an hour out of it, but I reckon they can do a little better than that.
-This one will go faster, yes.
-This one will go faster.
-If we spend more time in a dyno
geared for every 250 miles an hour so I reckon we can get in the 240's.
-How much do you recommend we can do down here?
-I reckon you can get up to 150, 160 before you run out of road.
-Like the sound of that.
-If the worst happens, the parachute will be life.
-The handbrake down beside you.
-That's the parachute.
So all you gotta do is pull that and a parachute will come out in the back.
-The temptation now--
-Is so great.
Can we do it?
-Yes, on the last run we're--
I'm about to try and do 150 miles an hour in a Skoda Octavia.
And off we go.
That is flat to the floor.
Oh, I love it.
120 oh no.
That does not feel good.
That wasn't maiming it.
Don't shed for the wheels.
The next run I'm gonna have to go for it like a boss because I wanna see 150 on that.
Cab drivers of Britain, get yourself a vRS, fiddle with the engine a bit, put a Garrett turbo on it, run about 600 at 50 degrees in the heat and the hill and then wow, just yes.
I got it.
Let's make some noise, make a lot of noise.
This is honestly brilliant.
Every Skoda Octavia vRS needs this amount of power.
Keep it going.
144, 147, 149, 150.
I can now die happy.
Let's get ready for the lever.
3, 2, 1, go.
Leave it in deploy.
I just bit the lever off.
That's not good.
There's no parachute.
That didn't go well.
I sustained an injury while pulling the chute on a land speed record car that failed.
-So I'm happy.
-You saved my life.
-You can't use this on the film.
Sufficed to say the Bonneville car is utterly, utterly brilliant.
Nothing can quite prepare you for that kind of speed especially in what some would consider to be the world's fastest taxi.
I wonder what Skoda would be doing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of vRS.
300 miles an hour maybe or maybe space.