Skoda has launched a new range-topping version of the performance Octavia vRS, featuring more power and extra standard equipment.
Proving that practicality can still be fun, the Octavia vRS Challenge packs more than £4,500 worth of extra goodies, for only a £2,460 premium compared to the regular vRS version.
Key to the vRS Challenge is the use of the enhanced 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine, previously used in the vRS 245 model.
For those who missed out to buy that particular version, this is a second chance opportunity for an extra 15hp over the normal vRS.
What, no diesel?
With 245hp and 273lb-ft of torque, the vRS Challenge accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. Opting for the cavernous estate version drops that slightly to 6.7 seconds – an acceptable debit for 1,740 litres of luggage space.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch on the options list. Whatever transmission choice, the vRS Challenge comes fitted with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential to help transfer power to the road more effectively.
Sadly for fans of long-range cruising, the vRS Challenge trim won’t be offered with the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
Fully loaded for the challenge
Standard vRS Challenge specification closely mirrors that of the previous vRS 245 version. That means 19-inch ‘Xtreme’ alloy wheels, a sports exhaust with black tailpipes, and black vRS badging front and rear.
Inside, the sports seats are finished in grippy Alcantara trim, and can be adjusted electronically. Front and rear parking sensors, folding and automatically dimming exterior mirrors, and keyless entry are also notable upgraded compared to the standard vRS.
Dynamic Chassis Control is also fitted to the vRS Challenge, featuring electronically regulated suspension dampers. Engaging vRS mode sees the dampers stiffen, along with adding extra weight to the steering. For the really committed, there is even a lap timer function for the colour trip computer.
Available to order right now, prices start at £30,085 for the hatchback, with the estate beginning from £31,285.