Car built in MK goes for record

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A HIGHLY-modified Skoda Octavia vRS has exceeded 200mph on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Developed in Milton Keynes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the vRS brand, the Octavia registered an impressive 202.15mph on its sixth run in the hands of journalist Richard Meaden.

The Octavia runs in the two-litre production car category, for which the world record is 216mph – a figure the team were attempting to beat as we went to press yesterday.

The 2.0 TFSI direct-injection turbo petrol engine is essentially the same as the one in the vRS your local Skoda dealer will sell you, but worked on to such an extent that its maximum power has been approximately trebled.

Modifications include the use of 120 octane race fuel, methanol/water injection and a replacement turbo which gives an extra 40 per cent of boost. The road-going vRS’s 198bhp is dwarfed by the Bonneville car’s output, described rather vaguely as being between 550 and 600PS (that’s 543-592bhp).

For aerodynamic reasons, the ride height has been radically reduced, leaving just 50mm of ground clearance compared with the 128mm of the standard vRS.

There are no rear brakes at all, while the front brakes are taken from the high-economy, low-CO2 Octavia GreenLine. They’re much smaller than the more effective ones on the vRS and therefore create less aerodynamic drag. And braking efficiency doesn’t really matter at Bonneville, since once you’ve reached your top speed you have four miles to bring the car back to a standstill.....

“The 10-year relationship between the UK and the vRS badge has been extremely successful,” says Skoda UK Director Robert Hazlewood.

“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 Skoda is all about engineering excellence and this car is pushing that to new limits.”