BY Jonathan Lim

With a new Golf out, comes a new Octavia. And as predictable as the GTI version is for the Golf, so too is the vRS for Skoda, in both hatch and estate form.


Now, we at Burnpavement are big fans of affordable performance, and that trait is epitomised no better than in the Golf GTI, thanks to its all-round ability and classless image. But, due to its understated style and massive amounts of space, we’re even bigger fans of the Skoda Octavia. In fact, we like it so much that we have a ’06 Octavia wagon as the unofficial Burnpavement workhorse!

Like previous versions, the vRS will be available in both petrol and diesel form, and gets identical mechanicals to the current Golf, which means either the 220 bhp, 350 Nm 2.0-litre TSI from the GTI, or the 184 bhp, 380 Nm 2.0-litre TDI from the GTD. To give an idea of how the Fastest Octavia Ever performs, the TSI version equipped with a 6-speed manual will do 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and will top out at 248km/h. Stop-start, Brake Energy Regeneration and the optional 6-speed DSG gearbox should help fulfill Skoda’s claims of a 19% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the old models.

For enhanced roadholding, the front-drive vRS gets retuned sports suspension with a 12mm lower ride height, as well as an XDS electronic limited-slip diff to help improve traction and reduce understeer. There is also a ‘progressive’ setup for the electric power steering that claims to reduce the amount of steering lock required for tight corners.

For the eagle-eyed enthusiast, the vRS is differentiated from the regular Octavia by a bodykit with a new blacked-out front grille, honeycomb air intakes, black rear diffuser and small rear spoiler. There are also four new designs for the alloy rims in 17, 18, or 19-inch sizes, and bright red brake calipers.

Inside, there are ‘RS-design’ sports seats and a new 3-spoke steering wheel, stainless steel kick-plates and pedals, and vRS badging dotted around the cabin. Boot space is a whopping 590 litres for the hatch, and 610 litres for the estate.

The vRS makes its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 10 July. Pricing has not been announced, but expect it to undercut the Golf GTI by some margin. Performance bargain of the year? For the thinking family man, almost certainly so.