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Skoda Octavia vRS gets four-wheel drive for all-weather appeal

Four-wheel drive gives diesel versions of the vRS a welcome traction boost

The Skoda Octavia vRS has long presented a compelling budget alternative to the more established hot hatchbacks and performance saloons on the market, but that isn’t to detract from its undeniable talents.

Those talents should grow further when a new 4x4 model hits the road later this year, paired exclusively with the 181bhp 2.0 TDI diesel engine. And no, it isn’t “that” 2.0 TDI.

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In addition to the four-wheel drive system, the vRS 4x4 also comes standard with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The result of that power, traction and transmission – and 280lb ft of torque from 1750-3250rpm – is a 7.6-second 0-62mph sprint.

That’s actually 0.6sec quicker than the front-wheel drive model, highlighting the benefits of the all-wheel drive system despite inevitable extra weight. As-yet unknown is the effect of extra drivetrain friction on the standard vRS diesel’s 60.1mpg combined economy.

The new model starts from £27,315 on the road, with Estate models beginning at £28,515. For comparison, that’s a £1450 premium over the equivalent front-wheel drive version.

Octavia vRS models as a whole start from £24,230, for which you get the standard 217bhp, six-speed manual petrol model. The Octavia vRS 230 will set you back a little extra at £26,350, but you’re paying more for the benefits of an electronically-controlled XDS+ limited-slip diff than the almost unnoticeable power gains.

All vRS models now benefit from extra equipment, however. An Amundsen sat-nav is now standard equipment on all vRS models, while 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, sports suspension and dual-zone climate control continue over.

The new Octavia vRS 4x4 is available to order now. All prices apply as of November 1. You can read our full review of the Skoda Octavia vRS 230 here.

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