News, Scene / 18. November 2015

Legendary Škoda 130 RS celebrates 40 Years

One of the most successful racing cars of the 1970s and 80s turns 40: the Škoda 130 RS. Known then as the ‘Porsche of the East’, the racing car first drove into the spotlight in the 1975 season. In subsequent years, the Škoda 130 RS scored numerous top rankings in rallies and circuit races. The most noteworthy victories came in the 1981 European Touring Car Championship and the double victory in the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally  in the <1300 cm3 category.

In the 1970s and 80s, the Škoda 130 RS was known as the ‘Porsche of the East’. One year before presenting the model, Škoda had already laid the foundation for the brand’s new era in motorsport with three Škoda 200 RS racing prototypes, driven by the desire to also compete in higher volume racing classes. Until then, the brand had entered cars mainly in the <1300 cm3 categories. The 200 RS marked the first time ŠKODA had used the ‘RS’ designation, which is short for ‘Rally Sport’.

Getting this racing car onto the track in former communist Czechoslovakia was no mean feat.

Since the 200 RS prototypes could not meet the new official regulatory standards, Škoda designed the 130 RS racing car. As a true lightweight, the Škoda 130 RS weighed in at only 720 kg. Selected body panels were made of aluminium, such as the roof, the bonnet and the outer shell of the doors. The mudguards and engine cover were made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). At the front, Škoda used the front axle from the 200 RS, and the rear axle was designed from scratch. The model also received its robust protective frame from the series-produced Škoda 110 R.  

The Škoda 130 RS was powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol with OHV valve control. The 140-horsepower engine could take the car to 220 km/h. The engine’s sports capabilities were made possible by the two Weber twin carburettors, an eight-channel cylinder head and dry sump lubrication. The cylinder and crankcase were made of aluminium, the cylinder head from cast iron. A four-speed transmission was used in the gearbox. Initially, there was also a version with five gears, but this was no longer used following the 1976 change in official regulations. 

The results from the package comprising modern engine technology, lightweight design and motor sport fine-tuning were impressive. Škoda’s new racing car made a very successful start to the 1975 racing season at the Czechoslovak Peace and Friendship Cup. A ŠKODA 130 RS took first, second and third place in the overall rankings. 

Over the following years, the model achieved numerous top rankings in prestigious circuit races at home and abroad. Greatest triumph: Škoda’s overall victory in the 1981 European Touring Car Championship. The Škoda 130 RS had already achieved an excellent result, coming third in the European Championships a year earlier. 

The Škoda 130 RS also caused a stir on the national and international rally scene. The car took its first Czech victories in the debut season of 1976. The Škoda 130 RS’s finest hour was in the 1977 Monte Carlo, taking a double victory in the <1300 cm3 category. At the wheel of the two winning cars were driving teams Blahna/Hlávka and Zapadlo/Motal. There was yet another victory one year later in the Rally Sweden. In 1980, the Škoda 130 RS dominated the Barum Rally, taking positions one to five. More leading rally rankings had been achieved before the 1983 season. 

The era of the Škoda 130 RS’s success ended in 1983. The FIA’s homologation, which had already been extended, had now expired. Škoda continued its motorsport activities with the Škoda 130 LR (130 hp). This model, however, could not build upon the success of the Škoda 130 RS.

Technical data



Water-cooled four-cylinder petrol engine with OHV valve control arranged longitudinally behind the rear axle, two Weber 40 DCOE twin carburettors, single-plate dry clutch, four-speed gearbox, self-locking differential, rear-wheel drive

Cylinder capacity 1289 cm3
Engine output up to 140 hp at 8000 rpm
Bore x Stroke 75,5 x 72 mm
Length 4020 mm
Width 1720 mm
Height 1340 mm
Wheelbase 2400 mm
Track width front/rear 1410/1366 mm
Wheels 165-13 až 215/50-13
Top speed up to 220 km/h