Skoda has pulled the covers off the third generation Octavia vRS, the fastest road going Octavia ever. As with the outgoing sporty Octavia, the vRS will be available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines – and boast a higher top speed than the standard Golf GTI.
As before, the petrol version is the hottest model, with a new engine shared with the Mk7 Golf GTI – producing an identical 217bhp. This gives the vRS a 0-62mph time of 6.8secs and a top speed of 154mph, when fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox, which beats the Golf’s 152mph.
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Skoda has always pushed its high performance diesel models, and this vRS is no different. Again, it borrows an engine from the more premium Golf, this time the 2.0-litre TDI engine in the same 181bhp state of tune as the recently unveiled GTD. Both engines are offered with the six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.
The Octavia has undergone significant changes from the regular model under the skin, with sports suspension as standard. A 12mm drop in ride height (13mm for the estate), is the most noticeable visual change, but the vRS now also boasts fully independent multi-link rear suspension. Skoda has also made the electronic diff lock XDS standard, as well as electro-mechanical progressive steering.
New front and rear bumpers are fitted, with a vRS exclusive honeycomb grille and Tornado Red brake callipers. A diffuser, as well as twin-exit trapezoidal tailpipes, completes the look at the rear. 17-inch wheels come as standard, although 18 and 19-inch versions can be specified.
Although UK prices have yet to be confirmed, the cheapest diesel model is expected to start from around £23,000. Skoda says the car is set to make its world debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed on 10 July, before going on sale at the end of July.