That’s right, there will be three versions to choose from when Škoda launches the new vRS. The new electrified version, the Octavia vRS iV, gets the same power as the outgoing petrol model at 245PS (242bhp) but combines it with the ability to drive on electric power alone for around 38 miles.
Details are surprisingly scarce but it’s likely this is a similar system to that announced earlier this year for the Octavia’s Volkswagen Group sibling, the Seat Leon, which shares the MQB architecture underpinning cars like the Golf and the Audi A3, as well as the Octavia and Leon. In the Seat eHybrid, the electric motor is paired with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with less power than the new Octavia vRS iV offers, at 204PS, and driving through a six-speed DSG transmission to the front wheels only.
If you want to stir the gears yourself you will have to tick the box for the vRS petrol. This version boasts the same 245PS as the hybrid but can be had with a six-speed manual.
And if you want all-wheel-drive? Then you will have to take the diesel, which has a power boost over the outgoing version from 184 to 200PS. Whatever the engine choice, all three variants are available in hatch or estate bodies.
And they look smart with their chiselled looks, sporty front and rear aprons, standard LED Matrix headlights, gloss black trim details and, in the hatch, a profile more akin to a four-door than a hatchback. The estate gets the boxier profile but it’s still a cool design that succeeds in getting some junior Audi RS4 appeal across, combining performance with masses of boot room. All run on (gloss black) 18-inch alloys with 19s optional.
Also optional is Dynamic Chassis Control which Škoda says injects more dynamism to the handling when you select sport mode. All the new vRS family already come with Virtual Cockpit instrument panel as standard but only the diesel and petrol get the 15mm lowered sports suspension. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are standard (ergonomic seats with massage function trimmed in Alcantara and leather are optional).
The UK along with Germany and Switzerland is the largest market for the Octavia vRS where one in five of all Octavias are the sporty versions. The plug-in hybrid version goes with the zeitgeist but will it be as much of a driver’s car as vRS fans expect?