A date with a Monster – A 600 HP Octavia VRS

Our founder tries to tame an Octavia that'll put all of Frankenstein's works to shame.

Skoda’s Octavia VRS MK3 has to be India’s favourite, most recognisable and easiest to modify tuner car ever. I think it is more difficult to find a stock VRS than to find a modified one. On TDH Classifieds, we have 3 VRSs’ for sale out of which 2 are modified. If you are interested, click the links below:

I don’t think you need any sort of introduction to ETuners India. They are a bunch of madmen who just want to extract every single drop of performance from the cars that they tune. But with the case of the VRS that their master tuner, Sreeram, was making, the situation was a little different.

You see, Stage 2/3 VRS’s are quite common nowadays. Invest around 3-4 lakhs in your Octavia VRS and you are gapping Porsche Caymans for breakfast. But Sreeram wanted to do things differently. He wanted to make a statement to the Indian car community about his exceptional talent for building the fastest cars in India.

One fine day, we were going about our business and we start noticing that Sreeram’s car had gone viral. Almost every major personality in the Indian car community had posted a photo of his car shooting a flame as long as a skateboard with the power figures of 576 horsepower written somewhere.

We immediately rushed to our phones and called up Aniruddh from Mechanix who had also gone down to test the vehicle with Sreeram. We told him, we will leave the next day and rush down to Mumbai and create a video around it. We really wanted to be the first media house to cover this monster of a build.

So the next morning we grabbed the keys to Tanay’s Abarth and blasted down to Lower Parel at N1 Racing where the dyno was. Apart from our friend Jay from Tuner India, we were the first to come to cover the car. We immediately asked Aniruddh to take the car out for us around the block so we could at least have a taste of how it was. Mind you, the roads around N1 Racing are narrower than your building’s lobby.

Aniruddh cranked the car up into life and I immediately understood this car isn’t some delicate sportscar that purrs into life. It roars like a lion that hasn’t eaten in days. We sat inside the car and the prominent smell of fuel gave us a high. And that was the whole experience basically, this 600 bhp AWD monster gave you a rush that no drug can replicate.

We went around the block and found a small little lane where we could taste probably 15% of the car’s true potential and once Aniruddh poked the accelerator, I and Tanay were giggling like little toddlers. We quickly took some footage of the car for our YouTube video and headed back to the dyno to see Aniruddh’s Stage 3 VRS245 get logged and that thing was no less of a monster producing 420 horsepower at the crank.

We did our basic talking and hosting but we wanted to get a real taste of what a fully built 2.0 TSI running a massive turbo with AWD, Water Meth Injection and a tune from hell can do. Luckily enough, the guys from ETuners find more importance in real-world testing than what’s put out on paper. So later in the night at around 11 pm, we all headed down to “Mexico Bridge”, where Sreeram was going to do some draggy runs to understand the real-world acceleration figures and to see how the car fairs on the road.

A bunch of our friends from Bombay pulled up in their own sportscars like a Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes AMG E63S and a Maserati GT. They were as excited about this wild creation as we were and that’s the great part about Mumbai car culture, it doesn’t matter if you have a modded Zen or a Ferrari 488 Pista, both cars will be appreciated.

Unfortunately, the E63s and Urus had to leave cause the VRS600 versus those two cars in a rolling race would have been a sight to behold but the good ol’ Maserati was there to give us a perspective.

So we headed on down to Mexico Bridge and cops were littered everywhere as we were sat in a 600-horsepower monster along with a Maserati Gran Turismo with Tanay hanging out of the window of a Tiguan to get the shot. To our surprise, Mexico Bridge had no one on it and the plan was to do some very illegal business on it. Once onto the main straight of the bridge, we will stop in the left-most lane, and do a proper launch.

As we got onto the bridge, the Maserati guy laid his foot to the floor and as soon as that happened, egos started to get hurt and Sreeram laid his foot flat to the floor. I had a camera in my hand and was not expecting any of this and the camera came straight to my face as he accelerated. I was lucky I didn’t lose a tooth but that small burst of full-throttle acceleration had given me an adrenaline rush that only a Lamborghini Huracan had come close to. Oh, and the Maserati, it didn’t stand a chance against this thing. All of that flamboyance and Italian horsepower just for some madman to gap you in his clapped-out Skoda.

The next thing I know, we have come to a halt on the Mexico Bridge. We have a Stage 3 VRS245 behind us, some friends in Tiguan in the middle lane and us in the left-most lane engaging launch control. I genuinely didn’t know what to do. I had a camera in one hand, and the other clawing into the door handle. Slowly, the revs build up to 5k RPM, I can hear the gigantic turbo sucking in air and the exhaust starting to crackle. Sreeram lets his foot off the brakes and the next thing I remember was just being hurtled into the seat. Since the car was still on stock suspension, the sheer torque overwhelmed the front suspension and I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing wheelied off.

The speedometer was building speed like nothing else, in the blink of an eye, we crossed 200 kmph like it was nothing. The FWD Stage 3 VRS245 that was behind us was literally a spec in the mirror. We must have probably touched 240-250 kmph before Sreeram let off the pedal and him being the mad man he is, the first words that came out of his mouth were – Could be faster. At that moment I realized, this man just wants to create chaos.

After that mind-altering experience, I wanted to have a go myself. Luckily, a few weeks later, Sreeram dropped by in Pune to do some work on the car at The Mechanix Automotive. One fine Sunday, all of the boys decided to go for an early morning drive and let’s say the road we chose was also called Mexico Road. We had a good bunch of cars that day in the convoy, everything from my Stage 2 Laura TSI, Abarth Punto to the 600 bhp VRS to even our friend’s BMW 550i.

I requested Sreeram if I can take the car for a quick spin on that road as the road is made of asphalt, three lanes wide and deserted, so the chance of anything going wrong was slim. But it was still a 600 bhp Stage 3+ monster, so you never know.

Starting the car felt like a race car, the way it cranks was a proper race car. As soon as it started, it wasn’t the loudest thing I’ve heard, but the idling is just so, raw. So, I whacked the car into drive, and slowly started rolling, mind you I had 3 more people in the car who were absolutely sh**ting bricks.

First gear, I gave the accelerator a little poke and my god was even that little burst of power brutal, but the real magic was in 2nd and 3rd, at least on this road. So I quickly shifted into second and built the revs to 3k. At that point, everyone in the cabin is deaf cause of the turbo spooling noise, then I just smashed the throttle in.

I cannot explain the G force that we were submitted to. I had never felt anything like that before. This was pure acceleration, unhindered, unadulterated. Proper addiction. The acceleration was so brutal, that you basically had to grab onto the steering wheel, and somehow I clinched onto the paddle and clicked 3rd gear, and that’s when we realised, we were way above the speed limit. 3rd gear was like lift-off, and the sheer acceleration is just relentless.

I think we hit some really illegal 3-digit numbers on that road today that not many cars could do. We had driven some really powerful cars on this road before, my Stage 2 Laura, BMW M340i, BMW M8, BMW 840i, Mercedes A35 AMG, but nothing came close to what this pulled like.

Slowly and carefully, if that was possible in that thing, came back to where Sreeram was standing, gave him the keys, asked him are you friends with the devil cause the thing he built was pure mayhem and got into my Laura absolutely stunned by that experience.

The ride back home in my car felt like I was driving a Tata Nano. Well, any car would, after a date with a monster nonetheless.

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Soham Saraf
Soham Saraf

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