Unintended bene its
Hooning-enhancing e-di turns out to have a bonus talent.
A key component in the 245’s goodie bag is an electronically controlled limited-slip diff. Push the Octavia hard through some tight turns, particularly on track, and it’s a real help delivering the 242bhp (245ps) to the front wheels. Here’s another benefit: the Octavia’s Pirelli P Zero rubber is terrible in the snow – but the e-diff brings some compensation.
A Ferrari engineer once told me that during 458 testing if ever a car landed in the gravel they would just grab the laptop from the passenger seat and tell its e-diff to lock solid. The 458 would escape the sand without needing a tow.
I didn’t have a laptop to hack the Skoda’s ECU but, if I kept the wheels straight and barely touched the throttle, the differential made sure both wheels turned together instead of spinning power away, and I managed to claw my way past several other floundering open-diff cars up steep snow-covered hills (‘Sorry, I’m sure help is on the way!’).
Turning was more tricky – the vRS just wanted to understeer – but there’s no doubt the e-diff saved me from sleeping in the car when the Beast from the East hit big in the south west.
If you go down to the woods today, leave the low-pro ile tyres at home. But an e-di helps