The Good Oil: Porsche of the East (it's a Skoda of course)
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Back before its Volkswagen Group era, Skoda was an incredibly uncool Eastern-Bloc brand with questionable quality. Which also happened to make the odd incredibly cool car.
So while we’re all fizzing about the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking Golf GTI-in-drag, the Octavia RS, let’s take a moment to be wowed by the Skoda that became the known as the “Porsche of the East”, the 130 RS.
A successor to the 180/200 RS (the first use of the “Rally Sport” name by the brand), the 130 RS was a competition car loosely (very, very loosely) based on the 110 R coupe of the time.
It became a multi-discipline motorsport legend, winning everything from the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally to the 1981 European Touring Car Championship.
With lots of aluminium and plastic, the 130 RS weighed in at just 720kg, which meant its 1.3-litre, 104kW engine could still shove it along at 220km/h. And shove it did, because the 130 RS (and the 110 road car for that matter) was rear-engined and rear-drive. Hence that “Porsche of the East” monicker.
In the best Porsche tradition, Skoda even created a completely wild version with really big wings.
The 1977 A5 (Category A, Group 5 rules) Type 738 was designed for circuit and hillclimb work, but also as a testbed to refine the company’s understanding of aerodynamics. As a handy sidebar, that mean seeing just how fast a 130 RS could go.
The 1.6-litre 142kW Type 738 could hit 249km/h (155mph) and looked outrageous doing it.