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SKODA: The all-new Octavia vRS Front

SKODA: The all-new Octavia vRS

The launch of the all-new vRS completes Skoda’s introduction of the fourth-generation of its best-selling Octavia hatchback and estate.

Across the range, the 2020 Skoda Octavia offers higher levels of safety, new driver assistance systems, more comfort and modern connectivity features. And, for the first time, the Octavia vRS is available with a choice of three powertrains.

On the outside, exclusive sporty black design details tease the Octavia vRS’ performance capabilities. Standard vRS features include full LED Matrix headlights and full LED tail lights with dynamic indicators, and an animated Coming/Leaving Home function.

Exclusive vRS logos on the radiator grille and tailgate are inspired by Skoda’s motorsport heritage. The striking black grille, front diffuser and air curtains located above the tinted LED fog lights are all designed in gloss black.

The wing mirror housings, the window frames, the estate’s roof rails and aeroflaps at the rear, as well as the diffuser on the rear apron, the ‘Skoda Octavia’ lettering on the tailgate and the hatchback’s vRS rear spoiler all come with a black finish. The estate’s roof spoiler is body-coloured.

All Octavia vRS models feature black 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, and the brake callipers are finished in contrasting red.

Inside, ergonomic sports seats with alcantara and leather upholstery are optional. A central airbag providing even higher levels of protection for driver and front passenger is making its Octavia vRS debut.

The Octavia vRS is equipped with a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit as standard, which features an additional Sport layout and a vRS-specific welcome logo. The infotainment systems feature new-generation technology from Volkswagen Group’s Modular Infotainment Matrix and sport a 10-inch central display. A permanent internet connection is provided by a built-in eSIM which enables the use of numerous mobile online services. Thanks to the digital assistant Laura, who also understands entire sentences, the infotainment systems can also be operated using voice command at any time.

The Octavia vRS iV – the Czech automaker’s first-ever vRS model to feature plug-in hybrid drive – is now followed by petrol and diesel. The 2.0 TDI diesel from the new EVO generation now produces 197 bhp and comes with either front- or all-wheel drive. The new EVO variant of the 2.0 TSI petrol has an output of 242 bhp, as does the Octavia vRS iV plug-in hybrid, and both are available in front-wheel drive configuration only.

With an impressive drag coefficient (cd) from 0.25, the Octavia vRS is particularly aerodynamic, resulting in lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Many of its body parts have been aero-optimised, including the air curtains in the front bumper, the aeroflaps, the diffuser on the rear apron and the hatchback’s vRS rear spoiler. Its light alloy wheels also contribute to better aerodynamics.

The vRS-typical sports chassis, which comes as standard, lowers the car by 15 mm. Adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control is an optional extra and constantly adjusts the damping to enable a dynamic driving style in Sport mode.

In another first, the vRS uses slider controls in Driving Mode Select on the 10-inch central touchscreen, making it possible to adjust driving parameters such as damping, steering characteristics or the operation of the DSG (direct-shift gearbox).

The Octavia vRS can be ordered with any of the new technologies and innovative assistance systems the regular Octavia has to offer. Shift-by-wire technology to operate the car’s DSG is making its Octavia vRS debut and the car now also boasts Collision Avoidance Assist and Turn Assist, to increase active safety.

The Octavia vRS makes use of new shift-by-wire technology to operate its DSG. The gear selector is no longer connected to the gearbox mechanically. Instead, it relays which gear has been chosen electronically. This saves weight and space and offers new design options for the interior. The familiar DSG lever has been replaced with a new gear control module, housed in the centre console.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Wayne has been covering developments in the UK's automotive sector for over 10 years, providing news, reviews, first-drive impressions and opinion pieces for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. A former marketing director, Wayne is based in a rural village near Winchester, Hampshire. You can follow him on Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto Instagram: WaynesWorldAuto