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Skoda unveils the new Octavia vRS

Look out Golf GTi, the vRS is back...

Skoda has revealed the third generation Octavia vRS ahead of the global unveiling at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Based on the all-new Octavia, it’s set to be the fastest and best handling vRS yet and is aimed directly at the car it shares a lot of parts with – the Golf GTi Mk7.

It’s pretty much business as usual with the new vRS, with a petrol and diesel engine offered in hatchback or saloon bodystyles, through either a six speed manual or six speed DSG to the front wheels. Lots of choice then, and one of the reasons why the vRS has always been so popular.

The Octavia vRS has, as expected, undergone a series of sporty design changes to distinguish it from the lesser Octavia models. There is a new black front grille, honeycomb air intakes, new front and rear bumpers with a lower splitter at the front, a black rear diffuser, chrome trapezoidal exhaust tips, a rear spoiler, LED rear lights and bi-xenon front headlights with integrated LEDs. As is usual with the Octavia vRS it’s less shouty that the rivals, but is nicely understated with a decent amount of aggression. The estate looks particularly good to these eyes.

Engine options are the 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine form the Golf GTi with 217 bhp or the latest 181 bhp 2.0 litre turbo diesel lump seen in the Golf GTD. Under the bodywork lies the same platform as the Golf, too. So far, rather similar – but the Octavia has always beaten the Golf on two major points, space and price.

The latest Octavia is closer to the Passat in size, meaning you get a large cabin, lots of rear legroom and a massive hatchback boot, which is huge on the estate. The hatchback, petrol engine manual Octavia vRS costs £22,500, while a 5dr Golf Gti chimes in at £26,500. Quite a jump in price for less space and less equipment, and then you factor in that you can also have the estate version, something VW don’t offer with the GTi.

There is an electronic differential on all models to reduce understeer and help traction, while there are 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels offered, all hiding red brake calipers. The interior gets supportive sports seats with half-leather, a leather steering wheel and a new instrument panel.

The Octavia vRS goes on sale in the UK and Europe in August.

Images courtesy of Skoda

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more