The VW Golf 8 GTI’s sensible, even more practical cousin is nearly here. The Skoda Octavia vRS was due to be making its public debut at the now cancelled Geneva Motor Show next week, but a completely undisguised prototype caught on camera in Spain has given us a sneaky preview.
It must be said - the absence of a rear wing like the one on the third-gen vRS does mean the new version isn’t as distinct from the standard Octavia on first glance. It does get a little lip spoiler on the boot lid however, along with unique front and rear bumpers.
Eagle-eyed viewers might have spotted the flap for the charging port in the above image, which gives the car away as the already confirmed plug-in hybrid Octavia vRS. It’ll produce 242bhp, matching the output of the new Golf GTE and the hybrid Cupra Leon. With that in mind, the vRS will almost certainly use the same powertrain arrangement of a 1.4-litre inline-four, a 13kWh battery pack and an electric motor. Expect and an electric-only range of up to 37 miles.
There will still be a purely petrol-powered version, propelled by (gasps!) VW Group’s EA888 2.0-litre inline-four, which can be found in the ICE-only Cupra Leon and almost certainly the eighth-gen VW Golf GTI. In the Octavia vRS, it’ll match the 242bhp output of the hybrid, but will be faster owing to its inevitably lower weight figure.
Prefer a diesel? Despite oil-burners falling out of favour with the world, Skoda is still making a derv vRS. This will use the 2.0-litre TDI engine found in the next VW Golf GTD with an anticipated output of 197bhp.