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Skoda Octavia joins 200mph club

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A specially built Skoda Octavia vRS model has become the latest member to top 200mph at the Bonneville speed week.

Journalist Richard Meaden, a contributor to the Telegraph Motoring, took the car to speeds over 200mph, and now the UK-based team is focusing on tackling the 2.0litre production car record speed, currently standing at 216mph.

The regular road-version of the Octavia vRS have a 200bhp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, however this version was tuned to pump out a massive 500bhp.  On its first run of the day, the car managed an impressive 195.96mph, before breaking the 200mph barrier on its sixth official run.  The car managed a staggering 202.15mph on the salt flats of Utah, coming four days ahead of schedule.

Robert Hazelwood, director for Skoda UK, said: "Months of rigorous planning, testing and preparation have all been worthwhile. At 13:24 on Monday August 15 we took our Octavia vRS past the 200mph barrier. The entire team has done an outstanding job. Our special thanks go to Richard on an incredible drive.

"This marks another exciting milestone in the brand's motorsport achievements and is a great way to celebrate 10 years of the vRS range and commemorate 110 years of Skoda's participation in motorsport."

The Octavia vRS Bonneville Special as it has been christened is a factory-fresh production Octavia vRS with changes implemented to improve performance and aerodynamics. It has been modified so that it is 80mm lower than its standard namesake, and has a new sub-frame housing a racing specification intercooled for the turbocharged engine.

The engine itself is the standard production 2.0litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine, but the standard turbo has been replaced instead with a large Garrett item.  That means that with more than 30PSI of boost at hand, the engine develops more than 500bhp whilst feasting on high-octane racing fuel with a water methanol mix, rather than your standard petrol from the pump.

The unique racer has been built to stringent Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) safety regulations, with a reinforced roll cage, parachute, fire extinguishers and window cage.

By Ben Malkin

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