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A hot hybrid Octavia is heading to Geneva with vRS iV branding and 242bhp expected
Skoda has confirmed that the next-generation Octavia vRS will star at next week’s Geneva Motor Show, using plug-in hybrid power.
The Czech marque’s latest hot hatchback will go on sale in the UK in autumn this year, likely badged vRS iV. Prices are expected to start from around £32,000. It’ll appear in Geneva alongside a further plug-in hybrid Octavia iV model – bringing the total number of plug-in Octavias to three.
A new teaser video gives us a glimpse inside the newcomer, while also confirming that both hatchback and estate versions are due to be revealed next week. Extensive spy shots of the newcomer give the game away though, while our exclusive images preview the final car.
The new Skoda Octavia vRS iV plug-in hybrid will use the same turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the recently launched Golf GTE. No performance figures have been confirmed for the hot hybrid, but Auto Express understands that the new electrically-assisted model is being tuned to match the output of the petrol vRS model. In all likelihood it will match the 242bhp figure of the hot plug-in Golf, too.
Senior company sources have told Auto Express that the PHEV-powered Octavia vRS iV will join Skoda’s existing range of petrol- and diesel-powered vRS models – giving it the Czech brand’s widest range of high-performance powertrains to date.
Skoda has always employed a loose definition of what constitutes a hot hatch. The previous generation Octavia vRS model was offered in a wide range of different forms – buyers could have either a hatchback or estate bodystyle, two- or four-wheel drive and even a diesel engine, which acted as a more efficient alternative to the flagship turbo petrol variant.
The petrol-powered Octavia vRS will use the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol motor from the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous EA888 family. It will match the new Mk8 Golf GTI in developing 242bhp and 370Nm of torque.
Assuming that the 1.4 TSI engine in the Skoda Octavia vRS iv produces the same 148bhp as it does in the Golf GTE, that would leave around 100bhp to be developed by the electric motor, which will be situated, as usual, between the car’s engine and gearbox.
The total system torque is expected to be around 400Nm – enough to get the car (which will have a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and no manual option) from 0-62mph in less than seven seconds.
Perhaps a bigger challenge for the Skoda team will be keeping the Octavia vRS iV PHEV’s weight down and maintaining handling agility. The car will have a battery of at least 13kWh and this, coupled with the extra motor, will add more than 250kg to the kerbweight.
As such, expect the vRS iV to be slightly slower in a straight line than the petrol version. But equally, that battery will give it the ability to go for about 30 miles on electricity alone – potentially giving the Octavia vRS iV a key advantage over rivals like the Ford Focus ST.
The Octavia vRS diesel will continue to use the existing EA288 motor with up to 197bhp. Skoda is said to have ruled out fitting the twin-turbocharged version of this engine, which is currently used in the Kodiaq vRS, where it makes 237bhp.